Some police forces pay TRIPLE going rate for electric and FIVE TIMES as much for batons

Criminal waste: Huge gulf in costs for police forces is laid bare with some paying FIVE times as much for batons, and EIGHT times more for getting data from laptops

Police forces are paying massively different prices for basic kit and services – raising questions about money being wasted.

Batons for officers cost five times more in some areas than others, while some police HQs pay triple the rate for electricity.

The Metropolitan Police shells out eight times as much as other forces to get a laptop forensically analysed. 

Mobile phone handsets for officers in Gloucestershire cost £459, but in Cleveland the figure is just £35.

The figures, compiled by MailOnline from official transparency logs, emerged as the Police Federation and Labour demand more funding.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid pledged to ‘prioritise‘ a budget boost for police after he took over the powerful job last month.

However, the gulf between purchase prices across England and Wales suggests there is scope for more efficiencies to be found.

How police forces pay wildly different prices for kit and services


Hampshire – £80.75

Durham – £23.49

Sussex – £119


Derbyshire – £278 

Hampshire – £538

Metropolitan – £462


Derbyshire – £12.59

Staffordshire – £36.32

Metropolitan Police – £25.43 


Norfolk – 0.12441 per kwH

Suffolk – 0.13528 per KwH

Nottinghamshire – 0.0477 per KwH 


Metropolitan – £1,206

Warwickshire – £150

Avon & Somerset – £480


Avon & Somerset – £418

Cleveland – £35

Gloucester – £459

Hampshire – £50 


Cumbria – £600

Durham – £364

Dorset – £1,928

Gwent – £2,111


North Yorks – £10

Leicestershire – £21.75

West Mercia – £23.50    

The government has been pushing for more collaborative procurement between forces for years, and ministers say hundreds of millions of pounds have alreqady been saved.

According to the latest transparency disclosure, Sussex pays £119 for each baton issued to officers, and Hampshire £80.75.

By contrast, the cost to Durham is just £23.49.

The rate for electric at Nottinghamshire‘s HQ is 0.0477 per kilowatt hour.

But in Norfolk the equivalent price was 0.12441 per kwH, and in Suffolk 0.13528per kwH.

Custody blankets for those at ‘special risk‘ are £80 in Northamptonshire, but £44.92 in Lincolnshire.

In Derbyshire police helmets cost £12.59, but in London they are £25.43 and in Staffordshire they are nearly three times more at £36.32.

Gloucester pays £418 for each mobile phone handset they issue to officers – but the figure in Cleveland is just £35.

In Gwent, motorcycle leathers for officers are £2,111, compared to just £364 in Durham.

Standard handcuffs are £23.50 a pair in West Mercia and £10 in North Yorkshire. 

There is also a huge range in prices for bicycles – with Hampshire shelling out £538 and Derbyshire barely half that at £278. 

For each laptop that requires digital forensic examination, the Metropolitan Police pays £1206.

But in Warwickshire the figure is £150 and in Avon & Somerset it is £480.

Some forces also seem to get better value for contractors on IT projects. The average day rate paid by Avon & Somerset is £870, while for Scotland Yard it is £597 and in Cheshire £212.

Policing minister Nick Hurd said: ‘This year, taxpayers will be investing an additional £460m in our police system. 

‘They do not expect the police to waste their money through inefficient procurement. 

‘I congratulate the police on impressive progress in recent years to squeeze out inefficiency. 

‘However these numbers show that the work is not complete. We will continue to work with the police to make sure that the taxpayer is getting value for money.‘