The Crime and Security Minister James Brokenshire comments on a report looking at how police forces are preparing to make financial savings.
The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that police authorities and forces have made a good start in developing plans for the next four years.
Resources not numbers
‘Every force should be driving through efficiencies, rooting out wasteful spending and cutting crime,’ said Mr Brokenshire
‘The effectiveness of a police force depends not on its total numbers, but on how well it uses its resources.’
The minister said that there is evidence that police are succeeding in ‘reducing costs while protecting frontline services,’ pointing to HMIC predictions that by March 2012 the proportion of police working in frontline roles will be higher than in March 2010.
He added that central government is helping to reduce bureaucratic burdens on forces: ‘We are playing our part by getting rid of needless bureaucracy, cutting out wasted time and money in IT and making sure police forces make the most of their vast purchasing power by buying together.
‘Changes such as streamlining the crime recording processes and returning charging discretion to officers could save well over 2.5 million hours of police time each year.’