Police earn millions for breakdown tips

* Forces earn cash from recovery firms * Helps to push up insurance premiums * West Midlands police earned 600,000 in 2009...

Police earn millions for breakdown tips

Police forces are collecting millions of pounds from tip-offs to car-recovery firms and helping to push up insurance premiums for the rest of us.

The police earn the cash by tipping off recovery companies that remove broken-down and crashed vehicles from the UKs roads. The firms then give police forces an administration fee after they pick up.

Rewards can be anything from 5-25, but insurers say the use of police as 'middle-men' is needlessly helping to push up already soaring insurance premiums.

Figures reveal that, during 2009, West Midlands Police received more than 600,000 in payments from recovery contractors a cost that is passed on by the contractors to insurers and ultimately drivers.

Manchester police are reported to have referred nearly 33,000 cars to recovery firms attracting a figure that could easily exceed the cash given to West Midlands Police.

However, the UKs largest force, the Metropolitan Police, did not receive any fees.