Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 09:42 UK

Smith offers police job to critic

Jan Berry
Jan Berry led the police union in its pay row with the government

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has offered a job to the police officer who called for her resignation in a pay dispute.

Former head of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Jan Berry, has been asked to be "bureaucracy champion" for the police, BBC News has learned.

A drive to cut red tape will feature in a Green Paper on policing.

The document will also contain measures to increase police accountability, reduce central targets and alter the way police forces are controlled.

Last year, Ms Berry said the home secretary had lost the confidence and trust of officers over the government's refusal to backdate their pay rise.

The public don't want police officers in police stations completing paperwork to a beautiful standard... they want to see them out on the streets
Paul McKeever
Chairman, Police Federation of England and Wales

Ms Berry, who retired in May, said the home secretary had "betrayed" the police service.

Direct control

She now says she is "surprised and flattered" to be asked to lead a taskforce to reduce police paperwork.

BBC News home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says Ms Berry is seriously considering the offer, despite having concerns about whether the role would be sufficiently independent.

The Police Federation of England and Wales have welcomed the proposal to cut paperwork, saying that supervisors are spending a large amount of their time on red tape.

"The public don't want police officers in police stations completing paperwork to a beautiful standard and supplying the Home Office with statistics.

They want to see them out on the streets dealing with crime and fighting criminals - that's where we belong," Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales told BBC News.

As well as cutting bureaucracy, the Green Paper is expected to propose giving more control over police forces to directly-elected mayors.

Police authorities would also be reshaped to include members voted in by the public.

Central targets are likely to be replaced with policing pledges, one national and one local.


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