Police forces have been caught selling confidential details of road accident victims to insurance companies, claims management companies and ambulance- chasing lawyers.

The referral fees earned by one force, the Met, amounted to more than £5 million since 2009 and represented more than 10,000 people subsequently pestered to make a personal injury claim, one saying that he had been contacted 340 times.

Referral fees, which have greatly increased the cost of motor insurance, and the income of Police forces, will become illegal in April.

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