Plans to educate police officers in personal finance branded ‘waste of time’ by West Midlands Police Federation

Police time will be wasted if chiefs go ahead with plans to educate officers in personal finance, the Police Federation has warned.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is due to roll out a national programme of financial education training this month, involving trainers from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) who will visit all 43 forces in England and Wales to provide ‘money matters’ coaching.

Merseyside, West Midlands and the Metropolitan Police are reported to have already used the free training packages, which include education for officers about what ‘APR’ – interest rates on loans – actually means.

But Paul Tonks, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, slammed Acpo and the FSA for “having nothing better to do”.

He told Personnel Today: “The force should stick to providing officers with training pertinent to their role as police officers. The public would rather see police officers either on patrol or being trained in current law issues.”

Tonks was also sceptical about how effective the training would be. “It’s naive,” he said. “It will not make a scrap of difference,” he added. “Police officers should be sensible enough to manage their own finances.”

An FSA spokeswoman said: “We have a statutory responsibility to educate consumers about finance. The training is free and only takes an hour.” Acpo was unavailable for comment.

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