Police surveys to be scrapped

By politics.co.uk staff

A police survey will be scrapped by the home secretary to free up 260,000 hours of police time.

The survey requires half of all officers in England and Wales to document every 15 minutes of their working day for a fortnight.

The announcement comes ahead of reports from former Police Federation boss Jan Berry and senior civil servant Sir David Normington on police bureaucracy and collection of data by officers.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Tom Brake said: “Actions speak louder than words. The government talks the talk when it comes to cutting bureaucracy, yet police officers are struggling under a growing mountain of forms.

“We need officers on the street, not at their desks struggling to complete convoluted tick box forms.”

Jacqui Smith is expected to announce several measures aimed at improving policing through the reduction of red tape and a greater use of technology.

Among the possible proposed plans are a panel of officers to review the impact of new policies on police bureaucracy and the increased use of handheld computers.

Ms Smith told the BBC: “I think that’s wrong. I don’t think we should expect the police to fill in the sort of time sheets that we have previously. That’s why one of the things I will be saying today is that we are ending that, as of now.”

Ms Smith admitted central government was partly to blame and the priority was for local police to report to “local people rather than Whitehall”.