Most police forces have increased expenditure above the level of inflation, some by more than 15%. For fire services the upper figure is 10%. The Audit Commission found that there was no direct link between level of expenditure and quality of service. The report reveals wide disparity between the best police forces and fire services and those at the bottom of the league tables and the gap is widening. The detection rate for burglaries in the best performing metropolitan forces is almost twice that for the worst. The average time taken to carry out fire safety inspections varies from 30 to over 400 days. Police forces and fire brigades are urged to discuss their performance with their local communities, and where variations exist, examine the performance of similar forces or brigades to identify how improvements can be made.Local Authority Performance Indicators: Police and Fire Services 1997/98
(ISBN 1862401454) are available from Audit Commission Publications on freephone 0800 502030 priced 20 pounds.
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