Nick Herbert criticises "ludicrous" head massages for police staff

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has criticised the decision of Sussex Police to spend thousands of pounds on Indian head massages for its call centre staff, saying that it “beggars belief”.

The three-year contract was put out to tender last week (29 December) and massage therapists have until 9 January to bid for the work.  The therapists will work at call centres in Brighton, Lewes and Haywards Heath.

Although the force is currently short of 250 frontline officers, Chief Constable Martin Richards has defended the move, saying that it is normal practice to offer head massages to staff in call centres who deal with stressful situations and sit in set positions for long periods.

Nick Herbert commented: "This beggars belief.  I cannot believe that taxpayer funding is being spent on offering Indian head massages to police staff.

"At a time when Sussex Police Authority is telling us how strapped for cash they are, you have to question whether this is a responsible use of public money."

The decision has also been criticised by the Sussex Police Federation and the Taxpayers' Alliance.

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Ed Barker