Police

Home Department written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the proportion of police (a) time and (b) budget spent on tackling (i) gang related crimes, (ii) robbery, (iii) criminal damage and (iv) sexual offences.

Photo of Alan Johnson Alan Johnson The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Table A contains the percentages of police officer time spent on different activities for the financial year 2007-08 for England and Wales. To reduce paperwork burdens on police officers the collection of data about time spent by officers on police activities ceased after 2007-08 in response to the recommendations by Sir David Normington in his review of data burdens placed by the Government on the police service published in February 2009. Activities are grouped according to whether they are related to crime incidents, related to non-crime incidents (e.g. road traffic accidents), or not related to specific incidents. In this last case, these activities could be related to crime (e.g. prison interviews), or to general police duties and activities (e.g. training).

The Policing Green Paper published in July 2008 introduced a robust programme to reduce bureaucracy and free-up officer time. This is enabling frontline staff to focus on dealing with the public's priorities, as measured against the confidence target-now the only top-down target on forces.

Table A indicates that, in 2007-08, the police in England spent 32.7 per cent. of their time on all crime incident-specific activities, 14.6 per cent. of their time on all non-crime incident specific activities, and 52.7 per cent. of their time on activities which were not related to specific incidents (although some of this will be crime-related).

The comparative figures for Wales are 27.9 per cent., 20.7 per cent. and 51.5 per cent. respectively.

Overall, in 2007-08, police in England and Wales spent 32.5 per cent. of their time on all crime incident-specific activities, 14.9 per cent. of their time on all non-crime incident specific activities, and 52.7 per cent. of their time on activities which were not related to specific incidents.

For the specific offence groupings of robbery, criminal damage and sexual offending, the amount of time spent by the police in England and Wales in 2007-08 on incident-specific activities, as a proportion of total police time, was 2.2 per cent., 2.1 per cent. and 2.3 per cent. respectively. As a proportion of total crime incident-specific time, the figures were 6.7 per cent., 6.3 per cent. and 7.2 per cent. respectively. There is no category of 'gang-related crimes'.

Table B contains police spend on different activities for the financial year 2007-08. As before, crime and non-crime incident-specific activities are differentiated. The categorisation of non-incident specific activities is different in Table B from Table A, however. Table B does not include costs of activities such as training, which are instead treated as overheads and included in the costs of all other activities. Further, Table B separates out some activities which are undertaken by particular staff or roles (e.g. 'intelligence analysis and research')-these are not included in Table A, as activity analysis covered only police officers working on foot, car or beat patrol, CID and traffic duties. Note that costs in Table B do not include 'sustaining overheads' such as running costs for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

Table B indicates that for the financial year 2007-08 the police in England and Wales spent 34.9 per cent. of its total budget (excluding sustaining overheads) on crime incident-specific activities. For the same specific offence groupings of robbery, criminal damage and sexual offending, the amount of budget spent by the police in England and Wales in 2007-08 on incident-specific activities, as a proportion of total police budget (excluding sustaining overheads), was 2.0 per cent., 2.2 per cent. and 2.6 per cent. respectively. As a proportion of total crime incident-specific budget spending, the figures were 5.7 per cent., 6.3 per cent. and 7.4 per cent. respectively. As before, there is no category of 'gang-related crimes'.

By way of context, Table C provides proportions of crime incidents of different types alongside the proportion of time and budgetary spend on crime devoted to these incident types. Thus it can be seen that, in 2007-08, robbery accounted for 1.7 per cent. of crime incidents, and 6.7 per cent. and 5.7 per cent. of police time and budgetary spend respectively. Criminal damage accounted for 21 per cent. of crime incidents, and 6.3 per cent. of both police time and budget. Sexual offences accounted for 1.1 per cent. of crime incidents, and 7.2 per cent. and 7.4 per cent. of police time and budget respectively.

Table A: Police time by activity, England and Wales( 1) , 2007-08
Percentage of time
Activity England Wales Total
Dealing with crime incidents
Violence against the person-S20 and more serious 3.4 2.3 3.3
Violence against the person-S47 and less serious 4.0 4.2 4.0
Sexual offences 2.3 2.1 2.3
Burglary dwelling 2.8 2.8 2.8
Burglary-commercial and other 1.2 1.5 1.2
Robbery 2.2 0.9 2.2
Theft of or from motor vehicle 1.8 1.7 1.8
Deception/fraud 1.2 0.9 1.2
Theft other 3.3 3.0 3.3
Drugs offences 2.8 2.7 2.8
Criminal damage 2.0 3.2 2.1
Other crime 5.6 2.6 5.5
Total 32.7 27.9 32.5
Dealing with non-crime incidents
RTA fatal/serious 1.0 0.9 1.0
RTA minor injury/damage 1.2 1.7 1.2
Traffic Other 2.4 3.8 2.5
Public disorder 1.9 2.8 2.0
Domestic dispute 2.1 2.4 2.2
Complaint/nuisance 0.9 2.5 1.0
Prostitution 0.1 0.0 0.1
False alarms 0.1 0.3 0.2
Missing person 1.1 1.7 1.2
Sudden/suspicious death 0.6 1.2 0.6
Other non crime 3.0 3.3 3.1
Total 14.6 20.7 14.9
Non-incident related
Visible Patrol 13.7 15.2 13.8
Court duties/escort 0.4 0.3 0.4
Special operations/events 1.9 1.6 1.8
Investigate complaints 0.2 0.2 0.2
Deal with informants 0.4 0.0 0.3
Community Involvement 1.3 1.3 1.3
Property inquiries 0.3 0.4 0.3
Non incident inquiries 1.5 1.6 1.5
Crime prevention activity 0.4 0.2 0.4
Prison interviews 0.1 0.0 0.1
Training 1.9 1.1 1.8
Briefings/meetings 6.6 7.2 6.6
Non incident linked paperwork 7.4 7.0 7.4
Other non incident related work 5.0 3.6 4.9
Staff development, appraisal, personnel-related 0.9 0.7 0.8
Monitoring cellblock PACE 0.3 0.2 0.3
Relief custody duties 0.4 0.8 0.4
Call handling/relief control room duties/enquiry desk 0.2 0.2 0.2
Checking paperwork (supervisory) 1.8 2.3 1.8
Budgetary/financial 0.1 0.1 0.1
ID parades 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other managerial/supervision 3.6 2.7 3.5
Refreshments 4.2 4.6 4.2
Waiting time 0.3 0.1 0.3
Total 52.7 51.5 52.7
Grand total 100.0 100.0 100.0
(1) Excludes Staffordshire, as this force did not submit AA data for 2007-08.
Table B: Police spend by activity, England and Wales( 1) , 2007-08
Activity Spend (£000) Spend (percentage)
Dealing with crime incidents
Violence against the person-S20 and more serious 395,906 4.50
Violence against the person-S47 and less serious 346,819 4.00
Sexual offences 226,678 2.60
Burglary dwelling 259,262 3.00
Burglary-commercial and other 130,232 1.50
Robbery 170,458 2.00
Theft of or from motor vehicle 195,493 2.20
Deception/fraud 130,792 1.50
Theft other 273,557 3.10
Drugs offences 271,550 3.10
Criminal damage 187,576 2.20
Other crime 452,835 5.20
Total 3,041,159 35
Dealing with non-crime incidents
RTA fatal/serious 76,905 0.90
RTA minor injury/damage 105,163 1.20
Traffic Other 243,729 2.80
Public disorder 235,011 2.70
Domestic dispute 175,446 2.00
Complaint/nuisance 99,671 1.10
Prostitution 7,876 0.10
False alarms 13,058 0.10
Missing person 112,040 1.30
Sudden/suspicious death 81,260 0.90
Other non crime 276,938 3.20
Total 1,427,097 16
Non-incident related
Visible Patrol 1,207,838 13.80
Court duties/escort 35,643 0.40
Special operations/events 225,440 2.60
Deal with informants 39,985 0.50
Community Involvement 169,188 1.90
Property inquiries 32,032 0.40
Non incident inquiries 135,039 1.50
Crime prevention activity 64,865 0.70
Prison interviews 7,332 0.10
Role Code-National, international policing, CT and Special Branch 474,839 5.40
Role Code-Crime partnerships 90,021 1.00
Role Code-Maintaining and developing partnerships 35,687 0.40
Role Code-Intelligence Research and Analysis 368,101 4.20
Role Code-Prisoner handling/custody 399,657 4.60
Role Code-Call handling/inquiry office 603,164 6.90
Role Code-Licensing 23,475 0.30
Role Code-Criminal Justice 273,753 3.10
Role Code-Police protection 21,014 0.20
Role Code-Family liaison 19,830 0.20
Role Code-Warrants 16,581 0.20
ID parades 9,698 0.10
Total 8,721,439 49
Grand total 4,253,184 100.00
(1) Excludes Staffordshire, as this force did not submit AA data for 2007-08.
Table C: Proportions of crime incidents, crime incident-related activity and crime incident-related spend by crime type, England and Wales( 1) 2007-08
Percentage
Crime incident type Crime incidents Time on crime incidents Budget on crime incidents
Violence against the person-S20 and more serious 0.5 10.3 12.9
Violence against the person-S47 and less serious 18.8 12.4 11.5
Sexual offences 1.1 7.2 7.4
Burglary dwelling 5.7 8.6 8.6
Burglary-commercial and other 6.2 3.7 4.3
Robbery 1.7 6.7 5.7
Theft of or from motor vehicle 13.3 5.4 6.3
Deception/fraud 3.2 3.7 4.3
Theft other 22.3 10.1 8.9
Drugs offences 4.6 8.6 8.9
Criminal damage 21.0 6.3 6.3
Other crime 1.4 17.0 14.9
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0
(1) Excludes Staffordshire, as this force did not submit AA data for 2007-08.

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