Met police net £23m in sponsorship from BMW, Land Rover, Chelsea FC and others

A FOI request lodged with the Metropolitan Police by the BBC has prompted the force to divulge that its officers netted £23m in sponsorship over the past five years, receiving items ranging from T-shirts to vehicles.

The gifts were proffered by corporate donors including BMW, Land Rover, Chelsea and QPR football clubs and included such items as premier league match tickets and mountain bikes.

Recipients of this largesse included royal protection and special branch officers to assist in their patrols.

In a statement the Met said: "Donations and sponsorship over £50,000 must be referred to the deputy mayor for policing and crime for approval.

"Such arrangements are subject to rigorous parameters. They do not make any of the statutory functions of the MPS [Metropolitan police service] dependent on this funding nor does it allow for any companies to interfere with the duties of the police."

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