Police to gain power to charge suspects
As part of plans to free up to 2.5 million hours of police time, May said the forces will be allowed to charge a suspect without the involvement of the Crown Prosecution Service in the process in more than 80 percent of cases.
To make that possible, suspects facing accusations of minor offenses will be charged by the police through letters without any need to their presence in police stations while officers will have to collect fewer details for less serious crimes.
According to May, shifting to charging by post alone will “save up to another 4,000 police officer hours annually”.
Frontline officers will also have the power to cope with most complaints, without the red tape and informally, by themselves.
“We’ve stopped the weary cycle of overreaction, inquiries, blame, legislation, codes and guidance, and blanket remedial training for all. We will take a different approach – we will trust the police” May said.
She also claimed when the changes come into force, Britain will have a “watershed moment in policing” amid fears that her proposals will lead to huge job losses.
“Every single senior police officer should be asking themselves what they personally are doing to rid their officers of red tape,” May said insisting that officers face a “great deal” of bureaucracy at work.
This comes as shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper described the announcement as “more sleight of hand than reform of service”.
“The Home Secretary claims her reforms will save the equivalent of 1,200 police officers, yet she is cutting 10 times that number of officers in the next two years,” she said.
“Many of the police officers that are left are having to do more bureaucracy, not less, because thousands of support staff have been cut too fast,” she added.
Cooper also raised the issue of safety on the streets saying “officers are being taken off the streets and put behind desks instead of fighting crime”.
“This Government’s cuts to the police are not only taking a risk with the safety of our streets but also risk creating more inefficiency, not less,” she added.
- Theresa May blames police chiefs for red tape burden (telegraph.co.uk)
- New Laws – Criminals Will Be Chared By Post (femaleimagination.wordpress.com)
- Theresa May: Getting police back on the streets? (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- Charges by post for minor offenders (mirror.co.uk)
- Forced-out police asked to volunteer (guardian.co.uk)
- Volunteer police bid ‘a slap in the face’ (independent.co.uk)
- May’s talk of reform “a euphemism for cuts” (leftfootforward.org)
- Frontline police moved into office jobs as part of cuts (guardian.co.uk)
- Theresa May warns police of pay cuts (guardian.co.uk)
- Theresa May faces police backlash over pay cuts (independent.co.uk)