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Carl Frampton discount covered under PSNI charging policy

The first and deputy first ministers with boxer Carl Frampton at Stormont after his IBF Super Bantamweight world title triumph
Brendan Hughes

POLICE charging guidelines allow officers to give discounts similar to the saving handed to organisers of the Carl Frampton world title fight in Belfast.

The PSNI can give a discretionary discount on the charge for policing events sponsored by the Stormont executive under its new policy.

It comes after police last year defended slashing 86 per cent off the cost of boxer Carl Frampton's sell-out championship bout in the Titanic Quarter.

The PSNI charged organisers just £5,000 for policing the event, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for a further £30,585 spent on safety and security measures.

According to the new policy, chief officers will be "consulted" about providing a discount or 'abatement' for events receiving taxpayer funding.

"Any shortfall will be regarded as the PSNI's contribution in kind to the event/enterprise's overall strategic objectives," it reads.

SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly criticised the PSNI's decision to provide a discount for the Frampton fight, saying that "any such event in the future must be dealt with more appropriately".

"Even where the PSNI has had the opportunity to charge large commercial operations, they have failed to do so," she said.

"The power to rigorously and fairly enforce charging regulations to parading organisers and large commercial outfits lies with the PSNI."

Frampton's fight in September received £300,000 of taxpayer funding on top of the policing discount.

Concerns were raised over the public funds after The Irish News revealed First Minister Peter Robinson's son was part of the team behind the event.

Mr Robinson rejected suggestions that he should have declared an interest over his son's involvement.

The DUP leader also insisted he was not lobbied by his son Gareth to provide funding for the title fight.

The bout was organised by Barry McGuigan's Cyclone Promotions, with ringside seats at the 16,000-capacity event costing up to £750.

The new PSNI guidelines list hourly charging rates ranging from almost £17 for a part time reserve officer to almost £100 for a Chief Superintendent.

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