POLICE spend just EIGHT MINUTES in every hour on frontline duties — despite a Government pledge to cut paperwork.
New research shows they are out on patrol for only 11.8 per cent of their working day.
Which means that on a typical 12-hour shift, an officer will spend just one hour and 25 minutes “visible and available” to the public.
The rest of their day will involve form-filling, book-keeping and other backroom work.
So much time is “lost” on other chores, it effectively costs taxpayers £800,000 to keep a single beat manned for a year.
The figures — revealed in a major investigation into police efficiency — show the amount of time spent on patrol has dropped as officers are weighed down with red tape.
It has fallen from 15.2 per cent in 2004-5 to 11.8 per cent.
They emerged as Home Secretary Theresa May puts police chiefs under pressure to run their forces more efficiently.
She believes they can boost their street presence, despite 20 per cent funding cuts, by slashing red tape.
And last night MPs and anti-waste campaigners urged newly-elected Police Commissioners to make patrols a top priority.
Forces with the best police visibility are West Yorkshire, Cleveland, Norfolk and Nottinghamshire.
But the worst are City of London, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Derbyshire and the Met.
Cops spend so little time on the streets that most of the wages bill is gobbled up by other tasks.
Taxpayers already fork out an average of £90,000 a year for each of the country’s 149,000 officers.
With so much time spent tied to a desk, it works out at £792,851 a year for every “visible and available” police officer and PCSO.
Peter Cuthbertson, who compiled the report for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The new Police Commissioners should devote more of their hefty budgets to frontline policing and less to back office spending.”
Tory MP Priti Patel added: “It’s alarming that police are spending so little time on the streets fighting real crime. In the age of austerity, it is vital that police resources are properly targeted — that means making them more visible to the public.”
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