11 days to go: Police officers quit in protest at Blair's bureaucracy

Thousands of police officers are quitting the force in protest at the paperwork and bureaucracy imposed by the Blair government, the Conservatives have revealed.

New figures released by Shadow Home Secretary David Davis show that while 774 police officers resigned the service in 1996-97, some 2,076 left their jobs in 2003-04 - a huge rise of 168 per cent.

And in addition, calculations show that every year, the equivalent of 3,000 police years are lost to form filling and red tape requirements introduced by Labour.

Unveiling the statistics at an election campaign conference in London, Mr Davis seized on the example of the policeman who challenged Tony Blair for making his job harder by claiming that there are a record number of officers "when for every police officer you have out in the rank and file on the street, you have probably put another four in offices".

The Shadow Home Secretary said: "No wonder the figures we have unveiled show the number of police resignations has more than doubled.

"It was Charles Clarke who said the 'number of people leaving the police service may be taken as an indicator of morale. I agree. I've heard first hand from police officers whose squads have had their morale sapped by the burden of paperwork and who feel that they are tied up in paperwork."

Insisting that police officers should be out on the beat catching criminals, sitting in offices engulfed in red tape, Mr Davis said it was absurd that members of the public feared walking the streets when the guardians of law and order were overwhelmed with paperwork - especially the seven minute stop form which will take up the equivalent of 3,000 man years per annum.


story from: www.conservatives.com