Monday, 21 March 2005


Surrey’s Chief Constable, Bob Quick, has told a national newspaper that ‘nearly 90 per cent’ of police time is spent filling in forms, rather than fighting crime.
Why Labour are all talk
Mr Blair promised to ‘relieve the police of unnecessary bureaucratic burdens to get more police officers back on the beat’ (Labour Party Manifesto, 97). All talk.
• Yet Mr Quick has said that: ‘It costs a third of a million pounds to train a constable in the first four years of his career, so it does seem bizarre that nearly 90 per cent of their time they are either doing form-filling and bureaucracy’ (The Sunday Telegraph, 20 Mar 05).
• He went on to say ‘Only 10 or 12 per cent of their time are they doing things that I feel constables should do’ (ibid.).
• Across the country as a whole, police officers already spend almost half of their time at their desks instead of being on the streets fighting crime.
• Detection rates in Surrey have fallen by almost a half since 1998-9, which means that only one in five crimes is cleared up by the police.
• Crime is out of control – gun crime has doubled under Labour and there are now more than a million violent crimes each year.
• Last week, the Chief Constables of Nottinghamshire Police and three other forces said that Government bureaucracy and inflexible funding are preventing them from fighting crime.

Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats are soft on crime. Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat Home Office Spokesman, has said: ‘I'm absolutely convinced that prison is a complete and utter waste of time’ (BBC Radio 4, 9 Nov 04). And Simon Hughes, their
President, has said: ‘Liberal Democrats have always been [clear] that there should never be mandatory sentences’ (Hansard, 13 Jan 02, Col. 433).

What will Conservatives do?
We believe our society needs more respect, discipline and decent values. We will cut political correctness and police paperwork, and put more police on the beat. Under our Timetable for Action:
• Within the first day of a Conservative Government, we will announce plans to prevent police officers having to fill in a form every time they stop someone.
• Within the first month, we will start the recruitment of an extra 5,000 police officers each year.

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