POLICE have spent more than £10,000 of taxpayers’ money on flights since the covid pandemic, figures show. 

Dorset Police has spent more than £12,300 flying staff, including officers and senior personnel, across the country on flights since July 2021, according to a Freedom of Information request. 

Eight of the 66 flights included overseas travel and, despite not revealing whether tickets bought were economy or business class, police insist anything booked which isn’t economy would be done so if “there is a deal” on to make it cheaper. 

Tom Ryan, policy analyst of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Bobbies should think of taxpayers before taking flights of fancy." 

A spokesman for the Dorset Police said officers and staff will fly for a range of reasons, including supporting ongoing investigations, attending conferences and other national meetings and events and training. 

Dorset Echo: Police swap cars for planesPolice swap cars for planes (Image: NQ)

He added: “Whenever the force spends money on travel, we always look to ensure that we achieve the best value for money wherever possible, which will include identifying the most efficient way for officers and staff to travel in order to keep the operational impact to a minimum. 

“Often flights can represent not only a cheaper alternative to hire cars with fuel or train travel, they can also offer a time saving as well as reducing the need for overnight stays.” 

Figures show that in the financial year 2022/23, Dorset Police spent £7,186 on flights, including more than £1,400 in November 2022.  

As well as this, the figures, which are until June 2023, show May this year as having the biggest expense bill of flights, at £1,646. 

“The majority of our flights are within the United Kingdom, with eight out of 66 flights in the last two years involving overseas travel,” the spokesman added. 

“Officers and staff will fly in economy, unless there is a deal at the time of booking that makes it cheaper to fly in other classes. 

“While flights represent a small proportion of our total travel costs, they will be used where there are valid reasons when taking into account the cost and time considerations involved.”