Sweeping changes proposed for police force
Feb 08,2008 00:00 by UPI

LONDON - A top British police adviser is calling for major cuts in spending and policing levels in England and Wales.

A report by Ronnie Flanagan, the Home Office adviser on policing, said many of the 140,000 jobs currently held by police officers could be done by civilians, The Times of London said Thursday.

Flanagan said the police force is burdened by layers of red tape that could be stripped back to free up 7 million hours of police time each year, the equivalent of 3,500 officers.

"There is widespread recognition amongst the leadership of the service that maintaining police numbers at their current level is not sustainable over the course of the next three years," he said in the report. "I am persuaded that we would not be making the most effective use of the resources dedicated to the police if police officer numbers were sustained at their current level."

Flanagan, a former Northern Ireland chief constable, said too much time was being spent recording unnecessary detail about some crimes. He also suggested changes that would standardize the policing manuals, forms and technology throughout Britain, the newspaper said.

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