Police spend £7,000 on cigs shelter
POLICE have spent more than £7,000 on a smoking shelter for staff at their Carmarthen headquarters.
The cost was confirmed just a week after its new Police and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon, announced a freeze on civilian recruitment as he looks to make savings.
The decision to build it was taken by the Dyfed-Powys Police Authority before Mr Salmon took up his post last month.
Some staff at headquarters have questioned the need for the shelter — which cost £7,131.50.
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Following the scrapping of the police authority last month, Mr Salmon's role is to set the strategic direction for the force and scrutinise its performance on behalf of the public.
In a statement he said: "The force has told me their reasons for providing the smoking shelter for staff, which I am satisfied with.
"The force received three quotations for the work from local contractors and chose the one that offered the best value for money.
"However, the costs involved are a concern, particularly during times of austerity.
"I am now responsible for the force's budget and I will be scrutinising all expenditure very closely."
A spokeswoman for Dyfed Powys police said: "The provision of a smoking shelter ensures that smoking on the site (headquarters) is now controlled and restricted to this area.
"The tendency for smokers to congregate in entrance ways particularly during inclement weather was problematic.
"The shelter provides protection to non-smokers from the effects of secondary smoke inhalation," she added.