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British police spent $54,000 checking the time

LONDON (AP) – For Britain’s biggest police force, time really is money.

Figures show that London’s Metropolitan Police spent 35,000 pounds ($54,000) on calls to a speaking clock service between 2009 and 2011. By recording such calls, police presumably obtained proof of the times they entered into their official written reports.

The force also spent more than 200,000 pounds calling directory inquiries over the same period.

Data released after a freedom of information request from the Press Association news agency shows members of the force made more than 110,000 calls to the speaking clock, at 31 pence a shot.

The force said it was committed to cost-cutting, but there were “evidential and operational reasons” for officers and staff to need to know the exact time, and many had no direct Internet access.

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