Bobbies are spending less time out on the beat

STAFFORDSHIRE’S police officers are spending less time patrolling the streets, despite the introduction of hi-tech equipment.

According to latest figures officers collectively spent 957,394 hours on the beat between October 2016 and September last year – down from 965,611 for the previous same period.

The figure equates to officers spending 63 per cent of their time away from the community.

Officers are still having to return to their station to carry out tasks such as CPS file building and crime reports despite the introduction of modern technology including mobile tablets and body cameras.

Staffordshore Police Federation chairman Keith Jervis explains: “Police officers use many different computer systems to record crime, investigate missing persons, and log intelligence and [global technology firm] Boeing has come in to provide a ‘common policing platform’ where all systems will be compatible. But this has not been achieved yet.”

Boeing has signed a £110 million contract to take over the force’s IT system, which is predicted to save up to £1million a year.

There are fewer police officers in Staffordshire than there were eight years ago. In 2010 the force employed 2,156 officers and 238 PCSO’s, but by the end of 2015 the figure had fallen by 1,670 officers.