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Administration (Police Time)

CCTV – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 28th June 2010.

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Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd Conservative, Hastings and Rye 2:30 pm, 28th June 2010

What recent representations she has received on the amount of time spent on administrative tasks by police officers each year.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. I have had no indication of that grouping. There is a practice now developing of this happening spontaneously. It really will not do. We shall see how it goes today. I call the Minister.

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Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd Conservative, Hastings and Rye

I thank the Minister for his answer. Recent statistics demonstrate that police spend 14% of their time on patrol and 20% on paperwork. Will he give an example of what administrative function might be cut from their work, so that we can give them the opportunity to spend more time out on the beat?

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

The most important example is the policy we have had for a long time: scrapping the unnecessary stop form, whose introduction made it harder for police forces to interact sensibly with the public, and resulted in a great deal of unnecessary bureaucracy. However, we will not stop at that, but will look at the whole performance framework and the central targets that have bedevilled policing for too long. We will free up police officers, so that they can do the job.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Labour, Brent North

Given that the Minister wishes to free up police officers to spend more time on the beat, and given the recent survey that predicts 35,000 fewer police officers on the beat, what assessment has he made of how many administrative tasks he will have to scrap to maintain an appropriate and effective police presence?

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice

I should say to the hon. Gentleman that we do not recognise those figures. Our policy is that we want to do everything possible to enable chief constables to prioritise the front line and maintain police officers out in the neighbourhoods, where the public want to see them. To do that, we must ensure that we reduce bureaucracy.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. No blame is imputed to Stuart Andrew. It is simply that the grouping of his question with Question 19 was not something of which I had notice, and it is not a grouping to which I would ordinarily agree, for reasons of progress down the Order Paper.

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