Cut in red tape for officers will make a huge difference, says Federation

Changes promised by the Government that will free up police working time will make a huge difference to officers, Zoë Wakefield, Hampshire Police Federation Chair has said.

The Productivity Programme, announced this month, will introduce new technology and changes that will cut admin workloads to save 750,000 policing hours every week, according to the chancellor.

New measures will cut unnecessary bureaucracy, drive greater productivity and” divert police time back to their primary priorities of keeping the public and streets safe”, the Government said.

Welcoming the measures, Zoë said: “This will make a huge amount of difference. We spend a lot of time doing admin at the moment. When they made all the cuts back in 2010, it got completely ridiculous. I remember once being called back to the station to sign for a delivery of stationery supplies. I hadn’t ordered it, but because they cut all the police staff roles, whenever a delivery arrived, a police officer would have to be called back to the station to sign for it.”

Zoë also listed one occasion where her station became cluttered with boxes of brown tape because officers had to order stationery for exhibit bags, but the system didn’t let you see whether any had been ordered already.

She added: “When they decided to cut police budgets and get rid of police staff roles, they didn’t think about all the valuable stuff those police staff do, that now somebody else has to do. And of course if the police staff aren’t there to do it, then it has to fall on police officers, which takes them off the front line. Whatever [the Government] do now, they’re just repairing the damage that they’ve already done.”

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