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Daily Post Comment: Police released from desk duties.

magnitude from a minor domestic disturbance to a full-scale terrorist alert.

And the day-to-day grind of routine police work is a far cry from the glamourised portrayals we see on our television screens.

The fictionalised characters played by the likes of Helen Mirren and Robson Green are never seen doing anything as laborious or unexciting as filling out a form or writing up a report. And yet that is what much real-life police work consists of. So anything that takes some of the pressure off our hard-pressed police force has to be good news.

The fixed penalty scheme, which was launched a year ago, has seen more than 5, 000 on-the-spot fines issued for a variety of minor offences. These include pounds 40 fines being given to those who are caught being drunk and disorderly or buying alcohol for anyone under the age of 18, rising to pounds 80 for more serious offences such as throwing fireworks or causing harassment.

While such incidents rarely make the news, they nevertheless have a real impact on people's quality of life and need to be nipped in the bud, either with on-the-spot fines or by arresting and charging those responsible.

The net result of the Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) scheme is that more than 12, 833 hours in officers' time has been saved by cutting the amount of time spent on paperwork.

This has freed them up for front line duties, making Merseyside a safer place in which to live and work, as well as cutting the number of cases clogging up the court system.

While we are regularly given false promises by politicians that they want to cut red tape, it is good to see the garden shears are being taken to that which affects the way the police perform their duties, allowing them to concentrate on more serious crime.

E QUITE rightly expect a lot from the modern police force. They are usually the first port of call for every incident, ranging in
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:333
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