Villiers calls for action on police red tape

Chipping Barnet MP says data protections rules should be reformed to enable police to spend more time on the beat

The word "POLICE" carved into stone on the side of a police building
(Credit – Met Police)

The MP for Chipping Barnet is calling for changes to data protection processes to cut the time police officers spend on admin tasks.

Theresa Villiers is part of a group of MPs, who have joined police bodies including The Police Federation, in demanding action to reduce the time spent redacting personal information before police send files to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

She said “I know that my constituents really want the police to be out preventing crime and tracking down criminals, not stuck in front of computers blanking out personal data.”

“A relatively small and straight-forward change in the law could free up millions of hours of police time.”

“Alongside Conservative MP colleagues, I am calling for an amendment to the Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill which would allow police forces and the CPS to share unredacted data with one another when making a charging decision. The data would then only need to be checked and redacted if the CPS decide to charge the suspect.”

“I hope that ministers will listen to this campaign for change because it would free up the police to get on with tackling the issues which really worry people living in Barnet, like burglary and antisocial behaviour.”

The MPs have written to John Whittingdale, the minister in charge of the data protection legislation currently being considered by parliament, to raise this issue with him and call for an amendment to be tabled.

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