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Paperwork a reality says police chief

PUBLISHED: 18:55 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:19 07 September 2010

Camden s top cop says people who believe officers spend too much time on paperwork need to take a reality check. At a Town Hall scrutiny meeting on Tuesday Borough Commander Dominic Clout was quizzed over how much time his frontline officers spent on pape

Camden's top cop says people who believe officers spend too much time on paperwork need to take a reality check.

At a Town Hall scrutiny meeting on Tuesday Borough Commander Dominic Clout was quizzed over how much time his frontline officers spent on paperwork.

He admitted that in an eight hour shift a member of a response unit would only spend half of that time on the streets hunting for criminals.

Tory councillor Chris Philp, who chaired the meeting slammed that statistic as 'ridiculous' but Chief Sup Clout hit back this week.

He said: "In an eight hour shift, there is parade and briefing, then dealing with reporting crime, missing persons, anti-social behaviour, fights, disputes, crime scenes, arrests, paperwork, stop and search the list is endless.

"On a busy borough at a busy time the actual time an officer spends physically patrolling looking for crime could be around 4 hours, which is generous I would say.

"When an arrest is made, delays can occur waiting for doctors, interpreters, parents, appropriate adults and paperwork.

"That is the reality of police work and why it is important that our 999 response team officers are only sent to essential calls."

But Cllr Philp wants to see a change to working practices and called for more office workers to be brought in to aide the police.

He said: "If they arrest someone it basically knocks them out for the rest of the shift. It is just ridiculous for front line officers to do that."

Ben McPartland


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