Brit official: Police like staying warm

Dec. 31, 2009 at 4:09 PM

LONDON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Britain's justice secretary downplayed claims police are overworked by saying some officers enjoy being "warm" inside filling out paperwork.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw said in response to claims that many police officers in the country are overworked and spend hours on forms that some officers "actually quite enjoy being in the police station in the warm," the BBC reported Thursday.

"I'm afraid I'm rather skeptical about the excuse that a public service, in this case the police, is overworked and therefore can't change," Straw said. "With a given level of resources, some police forces, or some parts of police forces do very much better than others.

"And it is the ones who are the less efficient and who have the wrong approach to the public who fall back on this 'Oh, I'm overworked' (argument)."

Simon Reed, vice chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, called Straw's comments "irresponsible and inflammatory."

"It wasn't police officers who brought in 3,000 new laws, it wasn't police officers who brought in a 30-page prosecution file and it wasn't police officers who brought in multiple forms and authorities to use a pair of binoculars," he said. "This was all done by politicians. Police officers are not the architects of bureaucracy, they and the public are the victims of it."

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