Police force is accused of wasting taxpayers’ money after spending £48,000 on Covid-themed coins to thank workers for their service

  • Thames Valley Police gave out Covid-themed coins to thank workers for service
  • FOI request showed coins cost £44,840, with £3,000 on envelopes and stamps
  • But some staff have labelled it a waste of money and said they’d rather a pay rise

A police force has been accused of wasting taxpayers’ money by spending almost £50,000 on commemorative coins.

Thames Valley Police handed out the Covid-themed coins thanking workers for their service during the pandemic.

The mementoes, pictured, came with signed letters from Chief Constable John Campbell, who wrote that they ‘symbolise the value of your work in keeping the Thames Valley safe through such adversity’. 

Thames Valley Police handed out Covid-themed coins thanking workers for their service during the pandemic, with an FOI request revealing the coins cost £44,840 (stock image)

A freedom of information request revealed the coins cost £44,840, with £3,076 spent on envelopes and stamps, a total of £47,916.

A spokesman for the force said the coins had gone to ‘all our officers, staff, volunteers and contractors, including our cleaning staff’. 

‘This type of recognition is widespread with many other companies and other public sector organisations,’ he added.

But some staff have labelled them a waste of money – and said they’d rather have a pay rise.

Recipients of the coins appeared divided on social media as one praised the service’s leadership for sending out the coins.

An anonymous Reddit user who received the coin posted: ‘[It was] a nice gesture. It was a bit c*** out there dealing with some [things].

Recipients of the coins appeared divided as some staff labelled them a waste of money – and said they’d rather have a pay rise (stock image)

‘Think of it this way, [the] price of a[n] expensive coffee to say thanks for our service.

‘I’m happy with the coin. A nice random gesture from our employer.’

However, another anonymous Reddit user who claims to be a police officer, commenting on a thread about the coins, said: ‘I don’t mean to come across as grumpy or ungrateful – and I recognise there are plenty who like all this stuff and are motivated by it – but it doesn’t really do anything for me.

‘I’d rather have no praise, no warm words on an email, no framed bits of paper – no snazzy coins I’ll put in a drawer and forget about – I’d rather just get the pay rise – I feel that’s worth more.’ 

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