By politics.co.uk staff
The cost of police officers working overtime nearly doubled under New Labour, a report has found.
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies' finding came despite the fact that police authority expenditure has grown by 48% in real terms since 1998/99.
It said overtime payments had risen by approximately 90% and noted that the number of backroom staff had outstripped the 15,000 increase in the number of police officers.
"Spending has gone up by nearly a half but the value of this huge increase is much harder to pin down," CCJS director Richard Garside said.
"We now have the largest police service ever. Yet there seems to be no clear rationale behind this incremental growth, nor a clear measure of its success."
The new coalition government is expected to look to cut backroom staff following a general election campaign dominated by promises to protect "frontline" services, including police.
According to the CCJS report spending on police in the last decade has mainly been sustained by council tax hikes.
From 2003/04 onwards council tax has met around a fifth of police revenue expenditure, it said.