Police Chief Awards Officers Performance Points for Arrests

A chief constable is encouraging officers by giving them points for the number of arrests they make. Richard Brunstrom, the head of North Wales Police, is giving beat officers 10 points for every arrest and a similar number for good quality intelligence reports. They will earn 20 points for seizing vehicles, three points for setting up community contact meetings, and one point for a stop and search.

Those submitting intelligence reports of poor quality do so at their peril – they will be docked five points. The points system, which has been piloted for the past three months, is being tested in the force’s central division. If successful it is likely to be extended to other areas.

Acting Chief Insp Phil Hare said the new scheme would highlight under-performance and thus enable certain officers to be helped. But the local Police Federation yesterday voiced concern, saying that officers might shy away from complicated jobs and opt instead for call-outs that might lead to arrests.

Richard Eccles, the secretary of the North Wales Police Federation, said: “We’ve seen points systems before and there is no substitute for good all-round supervision.

“It’s a concern that you might be doing something very worthwhile in the community but not gathering points. An elderly lady distressed after her shed is broken into might need a lot of reassurance – how do you assess that for points?

“Someone who has made arrests on the last Friday night of their shift might be challenged in court that they only made the arrest to make up their points.

“I think they imagine this is an easy way to look at what your staff is doing but it could lead to bobbies cherry-picking their jobs.”