Hertfordshire police officers spend just 12% of time on the beat

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 January 2013

The current chief constable of Hertfordshire, Andy Bliss

The current chief constable of Hertfordshire, Andy Bliss

Archant

HERTFORDSHIRE police officers spend just 12 per cent of their time on the beat, it has emerged.

Despite attempts to slash paperwork, officers spend the bulk of their time on backroom jobs, research by the TaxPayers’ Alliance has found.

A report found the total cost for each officer and Pcso in Hertfordshire is around £91,168 a year.

Because of the huge amount of time spent tackling paperwork and other back office tasks, the group claims it would cost taxpayers around £800,000 to keep a single ‘visible and available’ beat filled for a year. This would mean officers are out on patrol able to deal with the public.

But, despite the lack of visibility and austerity measures, Hertfordshire Constabulary insists crime is falling.

Chief Constable Andy Bliss said: “Crime in Hertfordshire for the year 2012 is down by some 14 per cent and compared to other forces nationally we have got one of the highest satisfaction ratings from those members of the public who are victims of crime.

“Despite the challenging budget savings that we are required to make we are working very hard as a Constabulary to maintain our visibility across the county both in urban and rural areas.

“Locally both the Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd and I are placing a particularly strong emphasis on ensuring that local officers get out on foot and on bikes on their beats, especially in crime hotspots. “

And Mr Lloyd said: “I always welcome scrutiny of value for money in policing, but we must recognise that forces in the South East of England will naturally have higher staff costs and this skews the figures somewhat.

“Based on a recent assessment by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary it was estimated that Hertfordshire would have the second highest proportion of officers on the frontline by 2015.”

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