David Ruffley Probes Home Secretary on Police Bureaucracy

Thursday, 4 November, 2010

Bury St Edmunds MP, David Ruffley, questioned Home Secretary, Theresa May, in the House of Commons on the establishment of a new National Crime Agency (NCA). Mr Ruffley was concerned that a new agency may have a negative effect on the huge administrative burden already shouldered by police forces, having 'to comply with 162 separate protective services standards, involving answering 1,099 separate questions.'

14. Mr David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds) (Con): What assessment she has made of the likely effect on the administrative burden on police forces of the establishment of the proposed national crime agency. [20312]

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): We believe there is a real need to bring a greater focus to the issue of organised crime and other national aspects of policing. The national crime agency will strengthen the operational response to organised crime and better secure our borders. The NCA will contribute to our aim of rationalising the national policing landscape, thereby driving out waste and increasing productivity.

Mr Ruffley: Police forces have to comply with 162 separate protective services standards involving answering 1,099 separate questions. The fact that there is too much process and paperwork prevents the police from catching criminals, so will my right hon. Friend publish an annual statement to the House telling us what she has cut and how much police time she has saved?
Mrs May: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that proposal. I suspect that is exactly the sort of thing that the Policing Minister will be happy to keep the House informed about. As I said earlier, a very good example of the impact of that bureaucracy is the fact that it is reckoned that what we are doing to stop the stop-and-account records and to change the stop-and-search records will save up to 800,000 man hours a year.