The Government is planning to increase the use of civilians and contract staff in non core operational duties as part of its police reform.
Home Secretary David Blunkett claimed yesterday that using civilian support staff in the handling of prisoners charged with less serious offences could free up 2,000 police officers to go on the beat.
The Police Reform Bill is due to go before Parliament in January. Certain functions such as handling missing person inquiries and lost property could be outsourced to the private sector.
Police are also being encouraged to use videos of line-ups instead of live identification parades to save on time and resources, reports the Financial Times.