Police overtime costs trimmed to hit targets

POLICE overtime costs have been slashed in Oxfordshire as bosses reorganise working practices to meet savings targets.

Thames Valley Police spend on officer overtime has fallen from 800 claims worth £1.4m in 2008/09 to 692 claims worth £906,704 in 2011/12.

The overtime spend for civilian staff fell from 131 claims worth £105,698 to 63 worth £15,273 in those years.

Overall, Thames Valley Police must save £55m by March 2015.

Bosses said tighter controls on overtime and changes to working practices had help cut payments. But the body that represents frontline staff said some police officers were working for free rather than arguing for extra cash, and that was hitting morale.

Force spokesman Lucy Billen said: “As part of the force’s on-going productivity strategy, overtime payments to officers have been reduced through more proactive management of time and improved working practices.”

An increase in shift patterns from eight to 10 hours so officers can finish that day’s work is “one of the changes to working practices that have contributed to the reductions” she said.

The force has set a target to cut overtime payments by £2.6m by 2015 and has so far saved £1.6m. A major restructuring that took affect in 2011/12 also cut costs, she said.

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Andy Viney, secretary of the Thames Valley Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: “There has been an awful amount of pressure to cut down on overtime. We are aware that an awful lot officers are working overtime and not claiming it.

“If you make it difficult to claim then a lot of people will say they can’t be bothered and do the hours anyway. It is just one of the many things that is affecting police morale.”

Officers are required to prepare evidence to give to the Crown Prosecution Service on the same day as an arrest, often requiring overtime, he said.

A key change has been changing payments from double time to time-and-a-half if a rest day has been cancelled with less than five days notice, he added.

In 2009/10 the officer overtime spend was £1.2m for 816 claims and this was £1.2m for 819 claims in 2010/11. For civilian staff, the spend was £89,774 for 134 claims and £79,250 for 114 claims in these two years.

Comments (10)

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3:23pm Sat 4 Aug 12

xjohnx says...

Reduce overtime?

Should be no overtime!

I notice the Federation rep is mainly concerned about officers deciding to do work for free.

Regretfully, I can't bring myself to trust the civil authorities anymore.
Reduce overtime? Should be no overtime! I notice the Federation rep is mainly concerned about officers deciding to do work for free. Regretfully, I can't bring myself to trust the civil authorities anymore. xjohnx

7:35pm Sat 4 Aug 12

pclhat says...

My partner who is an officer and colleagues regularly stay behind at work either because they are out dealing with something or doing paperwork that has to be done that day. The officers do this because they're committed to doing their job. They are all too aware of how they would like to be treated if they were a victim and they are willing to work unpaid to ensure a job is done properly if that's what they have to do. What many people don't realize is that they work the first 30 mins overtime unpaid whether or not they are allowed to claim overtime!! They work long shifts which are not spent sitting at a desk, frontline officers are constantly responding to all kinds of calls, often for their whole shift. I know for a fact my partner very rarely has a meal break in a 10 or 11 hour shift. . They don't moan about it. they see it as part of their job. In my opinion the fact that some people think there should be no overtime shows lack of understanding for a job that most do very well.
My partner who is an officer and colleagues regularly stay behind at work either because they are out dealing with something or doing paperwork that has to be done that day. The officers do this because they're committed to doing their job. They are all too aware of how they would like to be treated if they were a victim and they are willing to work unpaid to ensure a job is done properly if that's what they have to do. What many people don't realize is that they work the first 30 mins overtime unpaid whether or not they are allowed to claim overtime!! They work long shifts which are not spent sitting at a desk, frontline officers are constantly responding to all kinds of calls, often for their whole shift. I know for a fact my partner very rarely has a meal break in a 10 or 11 hour shift. . They don't moan about it. they see it as part of their job. In my opinion the fact that some people think there should be no overtime shows lack of understanding for a job that most do very well. pclhat

7:35pm Sat 4 Aug 12

pclhat says...

My partner who is an officer and colleagues regularly stay behind at work either because they are out dealing with something or doing paperwork that has to be done that day. The officers do this because they're committed to doing their job. They are all too aware of how they would like to be treated if they were a victim and they are willing to work unpaid to ensure a job is done properly if that's what they have to do. What many people don't realize is that they work the first 30 mins overtime unpaid whether or not they are allowed to claim overtime!! They work long shifts which are not spent sitting at a desk, frontline officers are constantly responding to all kinds of calls, often for their whole shift. I know for a fact my partner very rarely has a meal break in a 10 or 11 hour shift. . They don't moan about it. they see it as part of their job. In my opinion the fact that some people think there should be no overtime shows lack of understanding for a job that most do very well.
My partner who is an officer and colleagues regularly stay behind at work either because they are out dealing with something or doing paperwork that has to be done that day. The officers do this because they're committed to doing their job. They are all too aware of how they would like to be treated if they were a victim and they are willing to work unpaid to ensure a job is done properly if that's what they have to do. What many people don't realize is that they work the first 30 mins overtime unpaid whether or not they are allowed to claim overtime!! They work long shifts which are not spent sitting at a desk, frontline officers are constantly responding to all kinds of calls, often for their whole shift. I know for a fact my partner very rarely has a meal break in a 10 or 11 hour shift. . They don't moan about it. they see it as part of their job. In my opinion the fact that some people think there should be no overtime shows lack of understanding for a job that most do very well. pclhat

3:48am Sun 5 Aug 12

Whopper w/o Pickle Cornmarket St says...

pclhat wrote:
My partner who is an officer and colleagues regularly stay behind at work either because they are out dealing with something or doing paperwork that has to be done that day. The officers do this because they're committed to doing their job. They are all too aware of how they would like to be treated if they were a victim and they are willing to work unpaid to ensure a job is done properly if that's what they have to do. What many people don't realize is that they work the first 30 mins overtime unpaid whether or not they are allowed to claim overtime!! They work long shifts which are not spent sitting at a desk, frontline officers are constantly responding to all kinds of calls, often for their whole shift. I know for a fact my partner very rarely has a meal break in a 10 or 11 hour shift. . They don't moan about it. they see it as part of their job. In my opinion the fact that some people think there should be no overtime shows lack of understanding for a job that most do very well.
Are you sure, or do you just have a short memory. I know many a policeman who was able to pay off their Mortgage from the overtime amassed setting up road blocks and needlessly harassing the strikers from the NUM and Print Unions during the miners strike and Wapping. And although off the record, a friend of mine in the force was hoping for a repeat of last year to boost his pay packet.
[quote][p][bold]pclhat[/bold] wrote: My partner who is an officer and colleagues regularly stay behind at work either because they are out dealing with something or doing paperwork that has to be done that day. The officers do this because they're committed to doing their job. They are all too aware of how they would like to be treated if they were a victim and they are willing to work unpaid to ensure a job is done properly if that's what they have to do. What many people don't realize is that they work the first 30 mins overtime unpaid whether or not they are allowed to claim overtime!! They work long shifts which are not spent sitting at a desk, frontline officers are constantly responding to all kinds of calls, often for their whole shift. I know for a fact my partner very rarely has a meal break in a 10 or 11 hour shift. . They don't moan about it. they see it as part of their job. In my opinion the fact that some people think there should be no overtime shows lack of understanding for a job that most do very well.[/p][/quote]Are you sure, or do you just have a short memory. I know many a policeman who was able to pay off their Mortgage from the overtime amassed setting up road blocks and needlessly harassing the strikers from the NUM and Print Unions during the miners strike and Wapping. And although off the record, a friend of mine in the force was hoping for a repeat of last year to boost his pay packet. Whopper w/o Pickle Cornmarket St

10:57pm Sun 5 Aug 12

father dowling says...

I think our police officers do a fantastic and admirable job. Not the easiest job in the world if we are to be honest, thank you to all in The Thames Valley Police Force.
I think our police officers do a fantastic and admirable job. Not the easiest job in the world if we are to be honest, thank you to all in The Thames Valley Police Force. father dowling

6:46am Mon 6 Aug 12

Christine Hovis says...

I like how the sub-editor and the journalist can't quite agree on the impact of this.

In the headline, overtime is 'trimmed', but the opening line has it 'slashed'.
I like how the sub-editor and the journalist can't quite agree on the impact of this. In the headline, overtime is 'trimmed', but the opening line has it 'slashed'. Christine Hovis

2:01pm Mon 6 Aug 12

Sgt Oxford says...

about the only thing the police are good at is tocking up overtime glad this has been reduced
about the only thing the police are good at is tocking up overtime glad this has been reduced Sgt Oxford

2:49pm Mon 6 Aug 12

xjohnx says...

father dowling wrote:
I think our police officers do a fantastic and admirable job. Not the easiest job in the world if we are to be honest, thank you to all in The Thames Valley Police Force.
You can't just say that and not be challenged. Its not completely true, some good some bad.

Would Ian Tomlinson agree with your point? Only one officer admitted seeing him being beaten but we saw several Met officers on the videos.
How about the victims of recent press hacking and theft excesses?

Plenty of other examples out there.

Also, where is the money to be taken from?
[quote][p][bold]father dowling[/bold] wrote: I think our police officers do a fantastic and admirable job. Not the easiest job in the world if we are to be honest, thank you to all in The Thames Valley Police Force.[/p][/quote]You can't just say that and not be challenged. Its not completely true, some good some bad. Would Ian Tomlinson agree with your point? Only one officer admitted seeing him being beaten but we saw several Met officers on the videos. How about the victims of recent press hacking and theft excesses? Plenty of other examples out there. Also, where is the money to be taken from? xjohnx

8:28pm Mon 6 Aug 12

Jehova says...

I really don't know why I'm still suprised by some of the 'informed' comments made in response to press reports about 'the police'...

A story about the cutting of the overtime budget is greated by several parochial, negative comments made by people who have most probably fallen foul of a motoring ticket at some point in thier lives.

Look at the wider issue. Why is there an overtime budget in the first place? Clearly because there are not enough resources in the first place to meet the task.

Should we be cheering the fact that our police force is under resourced, has had to resort to overtime to meet the task in hand in the first place, and is now cutting back on overtime, therefore the ability to meet the task in the first place?

Some of the comments on here make it seem as though police officers can magically 'create' overtime as and when they wish; and indeed that they actually wish to spend their lives at work and not relaxing with their families.

This overtime situation is a broader issue revolving around resourcing and flexibility. If we really wanted to cut overtime, employ more officers or reduce the workload.
I really don't know why I'm still suprised by some of the 'informed' comments made in response to press reports about 'the police'... A story about the cutting of the overtime budget is greated by several parochial, negative comments made by people who have most probably fallen foul of a motoring ticket at some point in thier lives. Look at the wider issue. Why is there an overtime budget in the first place? Clearly because there are not enough resources in the first place to meet the task. Should we be cheering the fact that our police force is under resourced, has had to resort to overtime to meet the task in hand in the first place, and is now cutting back on overtime, therefore the ability to meet the task in the first place? Some of the comments on here make it seem as though police officers can magically 'create' overtime as and when they wish; and indeed that they actually wish to spend their lives at work and not relaxing with their families. This overtime situation is a broader issue revolving around resourcing and flexibility. If we really wanted to cut overtime, employ more officers or reduce the workload. Jehova

8:11pm Tue 7 Aug 12

Jehova says...

Kingston Road Crusader Ox2 6EG wrote:
Jehova wrote:
I really don't know why I'm still suprised by some of the 'informed' comments made in response to press reports about 'the police'...

A story about the cutting of the overtime budget is greated by several parochial, negative comments made by people who have most probably fallen foul of a motoring ticket at some point in thier lives.

Look at the wider issue. Why is there an overtime budget in the first place? Clearly because there are not enough resources in the first place to meet the task.

Should we be cheering the fact that our police force is under resourced, has had to resort to overtime to meet the task in hand in the first place, and is now cutting back on overtime, therefore the ability to meet the task in the first place?

Some of the comments on here make it seem as though police officers can magically 'create' overtime as and when they wish; and indeed that they actually wish to spend their lives at work and not relaxing with their families.

This overtime situation is a broader issue revolving around resourcing and flexibility. If we really wanted to cut overtime, employ more officers or reduce the workload.
Your comment just about sums up the political situation between the police and government. The police are a kow-towing entity who will do the dirty work for the government (in return for extra cash) in stopping peoples freedom and killing them in some cases (one mentioned above) and when it comes to judgement the government reward them for taking the blame by freeing those involved. One law for the law, and one for the rest of us.
I don't share the strength of your sentiment. A jury found PC Harwood not guilty, not Dave Cameron.

If you ask a copper what he thinks about politics, and the meddling by politicians with policing, I'm sure you'd hear quite a bit of blue language.

However, if you are concerned about this situation, you'll love the new Police and Crime Commissioners. You thought things are bad now? Wait until your politically aligned P&C Commissioner gets behind his or her desk.
[quote][p][bold]Kingston Road Crusader Ox2 6EG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jehova[/bold] wrote: I really don't know why I'm still suprised by some of the 'informed' comments made in response to press reports about 'the police'... A story about the cutting of the overtime budget is greated by several parochial, negative comments made by people who have most probably fallen foul of a motoring ticket at some point in thier lives. Look at the wider issue. Why is there an overtime budget in the first place? Clearly because there are not enough resources in the first place to meet the task. Should we be cheering the fact that our police force is under resourced, has had to resort to overtime to meet the task in hand in the first place, and is now cutting back on overtime, therefore the ability to meet the task in the first place? Some of the comments on here make it seem as though police officers can magically 'create' overtime as and when they wish; and indeed that they actually wish to spend their lives at work and not relaxing with their families. This overtime situation is a broader issue revolving around resourcing and flexibility. If we really wanted to cut overtime, employ more officers or reduce the workload.[/p][/quote]Your comment just about sums up the political situation between the police and government. The police are a kow-towing entity who will do the dirty work for the government (in return for extra cash) in stopping peoples freedom and killing them in some cases (one mentioned above) and when it comes to judgement the government reward them for taking the blame by freeing those involved. One law for the law, and one for the rest of us.[/p][/quote]I don't share the strength of your sentiment. A jury found PC Harwood not guilty, not Dave Cameron. If you ask a copper what he thinks about politics, and the meddling by politicians with policing, I'm sure you'd hear quite a bit of blue language. However, if you are concerned about this situation, you'll love the new Police and Crime Commissioners. You thought things are bad now? Wait until your politically aligned P&C Commissioner gets behind his or her desk. Jehova

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