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Wasting police time

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Copperfield has some interesting suggestions.

Stuart Davidson is a policeman in Alberta, Canada, he used to serve in the Staffordshire constabulary and is the author of a published book “Wasting Police Time” as well as the highly successful Policeman’s Blog, writing under the pseudonym David Copperfield. He had a very interesting article published in The Daily Telegraph over the weekend highlighting some radical suggestions to reduce the Home Office budget for policing and comparing Canadian crime fighting results to British efforts, he is adamant that police budgets could be reduced by as much as 40% and still see an improved performance.

My experience tells me that you could easily slash billions from budgets and actually improve policing, which is now a job creation scheme for bureaucrats.

They could lose 40 per cent of their budget and still have more cash per capita than we do.

Of course, how you spend money is important. GMP employs 8,232 police officers in a total staff of 13,082, or one person for every 181 members of the public. My force employs about 1,400 officers and 500 civilians – one person for every 526 members of the public.

So with less money and far fewer cops, we do a better job, and there are lessons that can be learnt by British officers and their political masters.

I encourage you to read the full article and to decide if there is sufficient food for thought, and whether or not a similar model could be applied to other sectors of public service.

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Written by curly

July 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

One Response

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  1. To compare how police forces perform, across continents, and nations is fraught with danger. However, some valid points are made, the Canadians are not restricted by PACE, introduced in 1984, by the Conservatives, whether this is good or not, is debatable. They also introduced tape-recorded interviewing; I note the Canadian officer takes a detrimental view of that! Higher levels of police accountability can lead, to less miscarriages of justice, and it is clear from the article that Canadians are not subject to such scrutiny. Being governed and controlled locally, would have made life interesting during the miner’s strikes of 1983 and 1984, would each force have been directed by their local masters to ‘fight’, the miners or other unions? Whilst under British governance the Conservatives were able to mobilise the police. The freedom of decisions, resting with the police, instead of a third party e.g. Crown Prosecution Service, can lead to accusations of corruption and indeed could place temptation in the way of the officer working with criminals. Surely, the point being made, is that of reducing bureaucracy. I have to inform you that the ‘slippery road’, was introduced by the conservatives and maintained by Labour when they introduced, ‘Best Value’, in the Local Government Act of 1999. As a consequence, we now have officers having to complete myriads of forms and processes, to comply with rafts of legislation, both national and European. They also have to employ large Corporate Development Departments to feed the ‘Home Office Machine’ of it facts, figures and indicators. I would end by suggesting that the ‘Golden Age of Policing’ espoused by the character of ‘Dixon of Dock Green’, may not have been that golden. Just look at the police corruption etc. of the 50s. It is however pleasing to nore that national crime statistics, which peaked in the northeast in 1991, have maintained a steady downward trend. I’m not sure if under the slashing of public funding that such reductions will be able to be maintained.


    July 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm

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