asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact on the effectiveness of police investigations in the metropolitan area of recent reductions in overtime worked; and if he will make a statement.
The Metropolitan police estimates for 1985–86 which my right hon. and learned Friend approved earlier this year contain provision for £58 million for police overtime payments compared with an outturn of about £55 million in 1984–85, excluding overtime worked in connection with the miners' dispute. The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has introduced a new system, which comes into effect on 1 April this year, under which each deputy assistant commissioner in charge of an area or department is given an annual overtime allocation which he may distribute to the districts or branches under his command as necessary according to operational priorities. This is in line with the Commissioner's goal of ensuring the most effective, efficient and economical use of available resources.The overriding principle in authorising overtime will continue to be that no overtime should be worked unless a failure to do so would lead to a loss in operational efficiency.