Saturday, January 19, 2008

Getting the police back on the streets

I was at a meeting of Conservative candidates this afternoon.

One of the main issues we discussed was crime.

An issue of particular concern to everyone there, expecially those who have most contact with the police, is that coppers these days have to spend between 80% and a sixth of their on-duty time in the police station being trained or dealing with paperwork.

Police blogger "David Copperfield" once wrote about a discussion with a police officer from another country: he spent 80% of his time in police stations, the officer from abroad spent 80% of his time out and about on the beat.

If we could reduce the proportion of time spent on training and bureaucracy from 80% to 60% without prejudicing activities required to bring evidence to court so that criminals can still be convicted, that would effectively double the police presence on Britain's streets.

If we're going to win the battle against crime that is one of two things which has to be done. The other is a far more effective campaign against drugs.

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