Listening to the front line

In order to gain the best understanding of the types of bureaucracy that the police experience and its impact, it is important that we listen to the people who are most affected.

The reducing bureaucracy practitioners group consists of frontline police officers representing approximately half of all police forces in England.

The practitioners group supports the reducing bureaucracy programme board in developing its proposals and actions, which help achieve our aim of reducing unnecessary bureaucracy.

The practitioners group does this by:

  • testing proposals through the review of proposed new systems and processes to assess the impact, risks and benefit to the front line
  • identifying solutions by exploring areas with potential for unnecessary bureaucracy
  • communicating to ensure staff are kept informed of the work of the programme and share good practice from forces with the group, as well as identifying opportunities for the board to work with those forces

What has been achieved so far?

  • we have already scrapped the last government's target on public confidence
  • we have removed excessive central performance management, for example, the assessment of policing and community safety
  • we have returned charging decisions to the police for certain offences
  • we have scrapped the national requirement for the Stop and Account form and reduced the burden of the stop and search procedures
  • we have launched a shorter and more straightforward annual appraisal model for forces to manage police performance and development
  • we have published new guidance to support officers that do the right thing through a common sense application of health and safety rules
  • we are championing a simplified crime recording process: saving time for officers when they have to fill in crime reports by reducing the amount of data they have to collect for minor crimes
  • we have worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers to reduce the volume of police guidance from over 600 pieces to a single interactive electronic document
  • we are piloting better identification, management and action on the most vulnerable domestic violence and missing persons cases, by ending duplication and unnecessary processes, freeing officers to reinvest in safeguarding those who are most at risk
  • we are working with the Department of Health to divert more mentally ill offenders away from the criminal justice system by developing mental health liaison and diversion services at every police station that needs them
  • we have also agreed to consider the transfer of commissioning of all police health services to the NHS as soon as possible - this means health professionals will look after mentally ill offenders and victims, not the police
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