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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Criticism of arrests points plan
Police officer using radio
Police will be awarded points for giving penalty notices
A plan to introduce a system of scoring points for arrests made by police officers has received criticism from the Police Federation.

North Wales Police is testing a plan where officers can score 10 points for making an arrest and 20 for seizing a vehicle.

Force chiefs have said the scheme would identify training needs and would not be used to set targets.

The North Wales Police Federation has described the plan as a "crude scale".

POINTS SYSTEM
10 points for an arrest
10 points for fixed penalty notice
20 points for vehicle seizure
1 point for stopping and searching
Minus 5 points for unreliable intelligence

It is not the first time North Wales Police have introduced point scoring for staff.

From last July, officers were given a monthly points target of 200 in relation to motoring offences.

Arresting a drink-driver gained them 25 points, while catching a speeding motorist was worth five.

At the time the police federation described the scheme as "ludicrous".

Richard Eccles, North Wales Police Federation secretary, said: "We have got grave concerns about what sounds like a crude scale for measuring an officer's work.

"Imagine if an old lady has been burgled, and an officer stays with her for two hours while she waits for relatives, or a locksmith to fix the door.

We are often told that building relations with the community is all important, but these points seem to reward only punishing the community
Richard Eccles

"You would not get any points for that, but most people would agree it would be a good piece of community policing.

"An officer should be judged on what they actually do over the course of a shift, not how many points they can rack up."

He added: "We are often told that building relations with the community is all important, but these points seem to reward only punishing the community.

"Awarding points for stop and searches is more worrying still. That power should be exercised carefully, and not to score points."

'Value for money'

Supt Barry Jones, deputy divisional commander for North Wales Police's central division where the scheme is being piloted, said it did not offer officers or staff a financial reward or "collars for dollars".

He said: "My job is to maximise the performance from each member of the division so I can reassure members of the public they're getting value for money for the staff that work in this area.

"This is just a method that's used extensively in the private sector to maximise the performance."

He said that following concerns from community-based officers about their work not being recognised, the scheme had been amended to incorporate their activities.

He added there had been no evidence to date that officers were "cherry-picking" the activities which gave them the most points.

"Officers appear to be responding to this new system positively and they are dealing with any and all crimes they are sent to in a professional manner," he said.




SEE ALSO
Motoring fines quotas criticised
19 May 01 |  UK News



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