POLICE bosses have been criticised for spending £100,000 on “storytelling sessions” for 200 top officers, while hundreds of beat bobbies face the axe due to a lack of cash.

Greater Manchester Police spent the money on an external consultancy firm to carry out a bonding event where detectives were encouraged to share tales of successful investigations.

The sessions were designed to improve policing, with lessons learned pasted on a cartoon storyboard to form a “business strategy”.

News of the courses comes after GMP proposed to shed 300 police posts and a further 150 civilian jobs to cut costs.

Gordon Johnson, joint branch secretary of the Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: “We are all for improvements and changing for the better.

“However, we are concerned about the amount of money being spent on external consultancies at a time when the force is planning to reduce officer and staff numbers.”

Consultants Storytellers Ltd were hired by GMP to host the sessions at the Piccadilly Hotel in the city centre last May.

The firm promise to “help business leaders connect their people to strategy, vision, values and change through the art of storytelling”.

Assistant Chief Officer Julia Rogers said: “Much of the work was undertaken by in-house teams to minimise the cost of the activity and events.

“To assist in the work an external company was involved at a cost of £100,000.”

She added: "Greater Manchester Police is committed to providing the best possible service for local people. In order to achieve it, it is essential that all staff are aware of the priorities and what is required from them to ensure we can be effective.

“The activity is the latest phase of work to tackle the issues that affect local people and ensure we can make a difference to the quality of life in Greater Manchester.”

pkeaveny@ theboltonnews.co.uk