Police Minister promises to free officers from red tape

Dyfed Powys officers will be set free from unnecessary red tape in a “matter of weeks”, according to policing minister Chris Philp.

He has promised to make changes in response to a review of productivity by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) which found that 443,000 officer hours are spent filling in forms and dealing with unnecessary administrative tasks.

This is equivalent to attending 220,000 domestic abuse incidents or 270,000 burglaries.

The review by Lancashire Chief Constable Chris Rowley, the NPCC lead for crime data integrity, recommended that instances where there are multiple crimes for a single incident should be recorded under the principal offence, rather than as multiple entries.

And it said another change would make it easier to cancel the recording of a crime where there is enough evidence that none was committed, which would also depend on appropriate sign-off.

Mr Philp said: “Victims must always be at the centre of our response to crime. Listening to forces and cutting unnecessary red tape will mean police officers can focus on solving crime and delivering justice for victims, as well as preventing it from happening in the first place.

“We are confident that we will reach our target to have the most police officers in history. With less unnecessary admin, we want them to be our most effective police officers in history too.”

Planned policing reforms have been welcomed by Dyfed Powys Police Federation

Chair of the NPCC, Gavin Stephenson, added: “Any move to free up our frontline to serve our communities is welcome.”

Gareth Jones, chair of Dyfed Powys Police Federation, said he hoped the changes would filter through as quickly as possible.

He added: “I constantly hear about colleagues making a difference in their communities, catching criminals, and protecting the victims of crime. But if we are stuck behind a desk doing unnecessary admin then we are not able to put our time to the best use.

“So, I welcome the statement by the minister and the NPCC and I hope we will see the results in weeks rather than months. The Federation is calling on the Government to go even further by supporting our campaign to reform Data Protection legislation.

“The current complexity means police officers will spend at least four hours in redacting evidence before they can submit evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service – if the CPS decides not to charge then this is valuable time wasted.”