Thursday, 10 September 2009

Police use almost 4,000 sheets of paper each

A BBC investigation has revealed that Sussex Police are using more paper than any other force in the country - a staggering 3,900 sheets per employee last year.

Of course the sensible use of resources isn't just incidental to providing essential public services - it's absolutely at its core. With unemployment, tax evasion and national debt all on the rise, every penny counts.

In the face of Government cuts from above and an often spending-averse Tory-majority Police Authority below Chief Constable Martin Richards has already warned that officers and PCSOs could go in a £35 million shortfall over the next few years.

So I can see why the BBC - and Sussex residents - are so incensed by this.

But the reality, as is so often the case, is rather different.

As has been reported on this 'blog and elsewhere, things are a'changin at Sussex Police HQ.

Of course there's a way to go yet, but paper use has gone down - by about a half in just a few years. The force is in the process of recruiting an energy manager to ensure resource use, and costs, fall in other areas too.

I sit on the force's Environmental Working Group, which meets regularly to thrash out these issues - and share the good news stories happening across the force: the reduction in resource use, the new eco-building approach to local police stations, the Chief Constable's enthusiasm for making Sussex the 'Greenest' forces in the country, to name just a few.

The real story behind this headline could perhaps have been: SUSSEX POLICE'S PAPER CUT

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