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Wednesday, 9th March 2011

UK: Police Overtime Expenditure

From the Executive Summary:

Overtime payments to police officers in England and Wales more than doubled between 1998-9 and 2009-10, from £208m in 1998-99 to £437m in 2007-08. In total £3.8bn has been spent on overtime in all forces 2000-2010.

Over the same time period police officer numbers, excluding an additional 17,000 PCSOs, increased 12%, suggesting that the overtime increase has been driven by poor management rather than under-resourcing.

Statistical analysis would even suggest that for the majority of forces, increased officer numbers led to an increase in overtime expenditure, rather than a reduction.
One third of forces have reduced their total overtime bill in the period 2005-10, compared to 2000-05, but two thirds have not, suggesting that poor management of overtime spend remains an issue for most police forces.

In the last two years police forces appear to have made efforts to reduce their overtime bills, with the total overtime spend falling from a peak of £437m in 2007-08 to £381m in 2009-10. This downward trend has come at a time when officer numbers have been virtually flat, supporting the idea that the police overtime bill is primarily driven by management practices rather than the level of resources or total staff.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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