Anger as £21k spent on lavish Brighton police bash

Chairman of the Sussex Police Federation DS Paul Sellings

Chairman of the Sussex Police Federation DS Paul Sellings

First published in News
Last updated
Exclusive by , Crime reporter

Officers called for their police federation chief to step down after £21,000 was spent on a “lavish” dinner event at a Brighton hotel.

The eight officers who represent their colleagues in Brighton and Hove voted against Detective Sergeant Paul Sellings remaining as chairman of the Sussex Police Federation after he authorised £21,000 to be spent on a meeting for 270 officers at the Hilton Metropole.

Members are angry about the cash paid out from federation money - which is funded by officers.

At a meeting of Brighton and Hove’s federation members, their eight elected officers said they no longer felt DS Sellings was suitable for the role.

And they voted to oust DS Sellings but were unsuccessful after Sussex’s 26 other elected federation members voted for him to remain.

The attempt to get DS Sellings to leave follows a series of angry emails between him and Mehdi Fallahi, Acting Inspector for Brighton and Hove.

In emails leaked to The Argus, Acting Insp Fallahi took DS Sellings to task over claims £21,000 of the federation’s money was spent on a “lavish and grand” dinner for police officers at the Hilton Metropole hotel in Brighton last year.

Acting Insp Fallahi criticised DS Sellings’ “lack of judgement” in organising the event.

In one email he said: “After months of trying to get the costs of the federa tion’s lavish grand evening in the Hilton Metropole, I finally managed to establish, via a private email that you spent around £21,000 of funds generated by our subscriptions on this evening.

“I, along with a number of other members have asked you repeatedly to publish these figures to all mem- bers, which you have refused to do. Where is the transparency? “

Each officer spends just under £260 a year on their membership to the federation and at such difficult times for the police, where officers are struggling to make ends meet, how can you think that this is a correct use of our money?

“You spent £2,200 on getting the BBC to host the evening, £2,500 on transport and the rest was spent on the venue, food and drinks."

DS Sellings, in a statement made on behalf of the federation, said: “Sussex Police Federation vigorously refutes any suggestion that its financial activities and accounts are anything other than run with the utmost integrity and accountability.

“They are subject to scrutiny at several levels to ensure that this is the case.”

The emails are being looked at by the force’s Professional Standards Department before they decide whether there is any basis for further investigation.

Comments (9)

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9:47am Wed 29 Jan 14

NickBrt says...

Why did they pay to bash the Police?
Why did they pay to bash the Police? NickBrt
  • Score: -9

10:02am Wed 29 Jan 14

Goldenwight says...

This isn't news- it is a petty spat between a number of individuals involved with the Police Federation who have chosen to air their dirty laundry in public in the worst possible way. Can we really trust these people to uphold the law and maintain the peace? I have my doubts.
This isn't news- it is a petty spat between a number of individuals involved with the Police Federation who have chosen to air their dirty laundry in public in the worst possible way. Can we really trust these people to uphold the law and maintain the peace? I have my doubts. Goldenwight
  • Score: -10

10:10am Wed 29 Jan 14

Morpheus says...

What did the members want the money spent on?
What did the members want the money spent on? Morpheus
  • Score: -13

10:27am Wed 29 Jan 14

qm says...

Any trough in a storm . . . . . .
Any trough in a storm . . . . . . qm
  • Score: 2

11:02am Wed 29 Jan 14

Richada says...

Just for a change, a gravy train not funded by the tax payer!
Just for a change, a gravy train not funded by the tax payer! Richada
  • Score: 5

5:02pm Wed 29 Jan 14

spa301 says...

I'm astonished there were that many at the event as I was under the impression Sussex's police force was reduced to single figures these days, and you can only see them when some prat crashes in the Southwick tunnel!
I'm astonished there were that many at the event as I was under the impression Sussex's police force was reduced to single figures these days, and you can only see them when some prat crashes in the Southwick tunnel! spa301
  • Score: -2

5:05pm Wed 29 Jan 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Why were the BBC paid £2200 to host the event?

What have the BBC got to do with the police? That seems very strange but then we know the BBC are in the hands of our corrupt gov' and we know the police protect our gov' and not the people who pay their wages.
Why were the BBC paid £2200 to host the event? What have the BBC got to do with the police? That seems very strange but then we know the BBC are in the hands of our corrupt gov' and we know the police protect our gov' and not the people who pay their wages. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: -4

10:28pm Wed 29 Jan 14

All 9 of me says...

it must have been only coppers voting on the comments here.....
it must have been only coppers voting on the comments here..... All 9 of me
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Brighton Living says...

At the Hilton ???? S----thole......
At the Hilton ???? S----thole...... Brighton Living
  • Score: 0

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