Cambridgeshire Police Federation’s detective lead says the #SimplifyDG6 campaign is gathering momentum after it was discussed in the House of Commons.
Stu Taylor welcomed comments from Peter Aldous MP (pictured), who brought up the Police Federation of England Wales’ (PFEW) #SimplifyDG6 campaign during a debate on the Police Grant Report.
Mr Aldous, who represents Waveney in Suffolk, said police officers’ jobs would be made ‘easier and happier’ if the Government ‘reduced unnecessary red tape’.
Stu said: “It’s fantastic that Mr Aldous has raised our campaign in the House of Commons and that attention is being brought to the bureaucratic madness of the current redaction rules.
“When the issue of DG6 is supported by politicians and is raised in Westminster it feels like our campaign is moving forward and gathering momentum.
“Mr Aldous is absolutely correct when he says our job would be made much easier if we could cut the unnecessary red tape around these rules.
“It’s hampering our work, causing huge resentment, and creating huge delays in justice for the victims of crime.
“Now we need the Government to act, and we stand ready to work with them on the issues.”
During the debate, Mr Aldous threw his support behind the Police Federation of England and Wales’ (PFEW) #SimplifyDG6 campaign, which is being led by Ben Hudson, chair of the Police Federation National Detectives’ Forum and Suffolk Police Federation secretary.
“I applaud the work of Ben Hudson, who is the secretary and treasurer of Suffolk Police Federation on their campaign to amend the Data Protection Act and Data Information Bill,” Mr Aldous said, before recognising that the campaign had been supported by fellow MP, Jane Hunt, who represents Loughborough.
Mr Aldous said that a further amendment to the Data Protection Bill is being tabled in the House of Lords by Baroness Morgan, before adding: “I would really love the Government to look at this issue very, very closely and do all they can to accept it.
“It will, in doing so, free up thousands of policing hours every year and would enable chief constables to better utilise allocated budgets.”
He ended with: “Finally, please, please, less red tape.”
Changes by the CPS to disclosure rules resulted in investigating officers spending more than four extra hours per case on redaction, PFEW said. In some instances, the delays have resulted in victims withdrawing.
Ben has been leading the #SimplifyDG6 campaign since its launch in 2022.
“It’s extremely positive to see that our #SimplifyDG6 campaign is still being supported at such a high level,” said Ben, adding: “Mr Aldous is always looking for ways to help the Federation achieve its goals.
“Mr Aldous and Ms Hunt [Loughborough MP] have both given the Federation a voice when it matters, and their continued support is greatly appreciated.
“We have taken big steps forward since the launch of the campaign, and it’s promising to see that pressure is still being applied to the Government to adopt our amendment into the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill.
“These amendments will simplify the reaction obligations placed on police officers. In essence, all unnecessary redaction would be avoided.”
PFEW provided evidence on disclosure and redaction – and a range of other issues – to the Home Affairs Committee for its inquiry on policing priorities.
The committee, which also took evidence from academics and policing bodies, was looking at topics including culture change, balancing demand, retention, funding, training, community policing and improving national conviction rates.
Now, thanks to the campaign, and support from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Home Affairs Committee has recommended the Home Office speed up its work with the Attorney General’s Office and CPS to identify potential solutions, including considering necessary changes to data protection regulations.
PFEW has a feasible, legally-approved, drafted clause ready to be adopted into the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, with the support of Ms Hunt, who sits on the Bill’s committee.
Ben is now urging other MPs to lobby the Government to support this amendment to the Act.
“The campaign continues and we need to see as many MPs as possible get behind us if we want those amendments to be made,” he ended.