The cost of cuts: Metropolitan Police spend £621,000 on savings programme
The Metropolitan Police spent more than £600,000 on a programme which aims to make huge funding cuts, new figures show.
A motivational speaker was paid £2,000 a session as part of events around the Change programme - which aims to reduce costs by 20%, the force confirmed to the The Times.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by the website Police Oracle showed that £621,651 was spent on the programme - enough to cover the salaries of 25 constables.
Events were booked at The Oval cricket ground and the figures showed that £282,360 was given to Inspire Change, which organised the events and hired the motivational speaker.
Jim Lawless describes himself as an "internationally renowned" adviser and speaker and his fee included a 60% discount on what he normally charged, the force said.
He claims his methods for approaching change have enabled him to become "a jockey in just 12 months, and step into the record books as the first Briton to dive lower than 100m on a single breath".
Scotland Yard said the events for 8,000 officers and supervisors were part of a bid to create a "more efficient and effective service".
In a statement, the force said: "There's a real benefit for our officers and staff in hearing an external perspective, and giving them an opportunity to think, away from the day-to-day challenges of policing.
"It's a personal investment in the leaders of a high-performing team that's reduced crime whilst making big savings.
"Of course different people will respond differently to any speaker but 70% of delegates rated Jim's session as useful and we had a very positive response to the whole event."