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"Nothing off limits" in police overhaul

Discussion in 'News' started by Halfhidden, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    (Reuters) - The government said on Friday it was launching the most comprehensive review of police pay and conditions in more than 30 years to maximise value for money in tough economic times.
    Home Secretary Theresa May said "nothing would be off limits" in a re-evaluation of roles, pay, pensions and work conditions. She said detailed scrutiny of practices, some of which ministers see as antiquated, aimed to inject a dose of modern management thinking into the running of the 43 forces in England and Wales.
    May said policing needed to change to cut out waste and bureaucracy to help frontline officers refocus on fighting crime, a tenet that she said had been lost under 13 years of Labour rule.
    "We need radical solutions to improve policing," May said in a statement.
    In July police watchdog Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Audit Commission said better procurement, more collaboration between forces and reforming old-fashioned shift patterns to meet demand could save one billion pounds.
    Almost 14 billion pounds is currently spent on policing, but HMIC said increased bureaucracy, central targets and greater specialism had drawn officers away from frontline duties.
    It found that only about one in 10 (11 percent) of all constables is "visible and available" to the public at any one time despite annual increases for the last 40 years.
    The amount staff charge for overtime has been criticised in the past after it was found officers were able to substantially boost their earnings under the current rules.
    The Association of Chief Police Officers, which has broadly welcomed the government's reform plans said it "strongly supported" the pay review, but that it needed to take account of the unique role the police performed without compromising public safety.
    Forces across the country are bracing for severe funding cuts of up to 25 percent, to be announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review on October 20, with many chiefs already up in arms over how those reductions will affect frontline policing.
    West Midlands Police, the second largest in the country, on Thursday became the latest force to announce the possible loss of over 2,000 posts, in a worst-case scenario, to help manage the deep cuts.
    Kent, Hampshire and Cambridgeshire have warned of similar losses, with Cambridgeshire's chief constable likening the downsizing to a policing "Armageddon."
    The powerful Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank and file officers, has said the cuts could mean up to 40,000 frontline posts being axed.
    Police and Criminal Justice Minister, Nick Herbert, says that figure is highly speculative because no one yet knows the savings to be hammered out by the Treasury.
  2. 46traveller

    46traveller Member

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