§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up an investigation to establish to what extent work done by police officers on police rates of pay and conditions carrying out clerical, telephone and other civilian work could be done more cheaply and efficiently by civilian staff.
§ Mr. Mayhew
Chief officers of police continue to be encouraged to employ civilians to do administrative, and other work which does not require the powers and training of a police officer, thereby increasing the numbers of officers available for beat and other operational duties. On 31 October 1982 there were some 33,800 full-time civilians employed in the police service in England and Wales, an increase of about 7,500 over the past 10 years. I understand that the audit inspectorate of the Department of the Environment is undertaking an independent comparative study in a number of police authorities, on the use made of civilian staff and the cost implications of different practices. It is expected that a report on the subject will be published within the next few months.