Police paid millions in overtime

POLICE across the district are being paid around £6million a year in overtime.

POLICE across the district are being paid around £6million a year in overtime.

Officers are becoming increasingly frustrated by the fact that so much time is being spent in the office doing paperwork, which often leads to them doing extra hours.

The shocking statistics, revealed through a Freedom of Information request, show the additional cash spent out in 2006/07 was £5,895,970, while in 2005/06 it was £5,351,692 and £6,869,462 in 2004/05.

Avon and Somerset police force’s Chief Superintendent Julian Moss said: “It’s something we are very frustrated by.

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“There is an argument that says if you have £3million for overtime you could have spent that on officers, but it never really works like that.

“There’s planned overtime that is perhaps not the most efficient way of using officers, but there is also unplanned overtime from incidents such as when an officer makes an arrest and has to see it through to the end including paperwork.

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“If the process and paperwork was less it would help with this. There are several things we are doing to try to fight bureaucracy.

“Chief inspector Colin Port is aiming to reduce paperwork by getting rid of a form a month and North Somerset is piloting computers in police cars so officers are not kept behind desks as much. The computers mean information that officers need is mobile and helps keep them out of the station on the street.

“We are also just about to start using handheld computers which will make the process even smoother.”

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