A former royal protection officer has laid allegations against his colleagues who, reportedly, played poker and traded pornography while working at Buckingham Palace. The man himself has been accused of being involved in a 3-million-pound betting and property scam.
Paul Page, 38, of Granville Road, Chafford Hundred, Grays, Essex, is said to have allegedly cheated colleagues and others out of their life savings.
Page, who describes his job as an "easy life", denies fraudulent trading, intimidation and threatening to take revenge on a victim who spoke to police between January 1 2003 and March 30 2007.
During his opening defence at Southwark Crown Court today, Page, a father-of-five, revealed that officers in the royal protection command could earn 50,000-60,000 pounds a year with overtime "for doing very little".
Shifts involved two hours on post, followed by at least an hour off post.
"You didn't work for a living. That is the bottom line," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"You have got time to study... There was one officer and he did sell porn. He used to get it from Holland, bring it back and sell it to officers while on duty.
"Everyone knew about it but no one would say anything. Officers were running poker games for money in down time. If people want to do that that is fair enough but senior officers let it go," he said.
Page also revealed that members of the royal household instilled a class culture and royal protection officers were treated as a "necessary evil" who were expected to turn a blind eye to crime at the palace.
"You are not police officers any more. For example instances of domestic abuse in the royal household where the servants live and sleep in the palace," he said.
"Some have drink problems and fight. You are told not to get involved. There is a class culture within the palace.
"You are treated like dirt - that includes police officers on the gate.
"Some (members of the royal household) are very nice but the majority, they treat you like you are on a lower level," he revealed.
He added that he believed money was "thrown at you" because the security level had to be kept up.
"I shouldn't be saying what I am saying but it has to be done - I need you to understand the culture," Page added at the court hearing.