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Police: Bureaucracy

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many departmental officials have been working on reducing police bureaucracy in each of the last 10 years. (176299)

Until 1 April 2007, when the newly vested police-led National Policing Improvement Agency took on policy oversight for reducing unnecessary police bureaucracy, overall policy oversight for reducing unnecessary bureaucracy was held by the Police Reform Unit in the Home Office. However, a much wider number of departmental officials in many different business areas have been involved in contributing to this important area of work over the last 10 years. This work has included:

improvements to custody and case management information technology systems;

the implementation of new time and labour saving technology such as electronic fingerprinting;

the development of improved business processes and work force management as part of wider efficiency and value for money work; and

the development of a new performance management framework which recognising the significant improvements made to date, will provide greater local flexibility and reduce the number of targets that necessitate measurement by the police going forward.

It is not possible therefore to specify a ‘headcount’ number which would properly reflect the contribution of such a wide number of departmental officials.

Reducing unnecessary bureaucracy is the duty of all those involved in policing. It is the responsibility of local managers and chief officers in particular, to keep processes as streamlined as possible and to empower and equip officers to provide the most visible and accessible police presence in the community possible.