The Daily Express: Police overtime soars

Saturday, 12 January, 2008

The cost of police overtime has more than doubled to £411million a year under Labour because of the mountain of paperwork tying officers to their desks.

This would pay for 8,220 more beat bobbies for a year.

Last night ministers were blamed for failing to cut red tape and their handling of jail overcrowding, which has seen officers guarding criminals in police cells. Tory police reform spokesman David Ruffley , who obtained the figures, said: "This overtime is being used to do ever more paperwork.

"Red tape is increasing and it is wrong that police [are spending] more time on paperwork than on patrol." In 1997/98 the overtime bill was £190.8million; by 2006/07 it had soared to £411.9million.

The Home Office said there had been a 12 per cent rise in officers in the past 10 years.