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Administrative Account

Police Banned from Charging Mobile Phones at Work

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Police have been banned from charging their mobile phones at work in a bid to save money.

Officers and civilian staff in Sussex have been told not to power up their personal phones, iPods and other electrical items at work in the hope of slashing electricity bills.The force must find £50 million worth of savings from its overall budget by 2015 and has already cut energy bills by 10 per cent.

But the latest money-saver has angered some officers who have warned it risks morale for the sake of a "few pennies".

Police forces across the country are having to find savings of up to 20 per cent and are examining all areas of activity to meet the cuts.

It emerged in October that police in Staffordshire had been told to make fewer arrests, handle more crime on the phone and not attend as many incidents in an effort to save money.

Officers were also urged to hand out more on – the – spot penalties and let low – level anti – social behaviour be handled by council workers.And in August, Essex Police announced it was to close half of its stations to the public while none of those that remain would stay open 24 hours a day.

The plan is aimed at saving £2.5 million a year. A Sussex Police spokesman said the ban on charging phones had begun last month and hoped the force would be personal item free by the end of this month.He said officers were supportive of the plans.But one, who did not want to be named, said: "We are talking pennies here. It has not been well accepted."It must be better to have a happy workforce than one irritated by their bosses for the sake of saving a few quid."

Earlier this year Sussex Police major crime unit merged with Surrey and talks are under way about merging forensics.The spokesman said: "All areas are being reviewed to see where savings can be made with a particular focus on those areas where our customers will not be affected."As part of this work it was identified that there are a significant number of electrical items being used in the force which are not essential to the working environment."The removal of non-essential items will bring about savings on testing and energy usage, which we have already reduced by about 10 per cent."Any money saved in this area will be put back into front line services."This request was made to staff in November and the response has been very supportive."

Telegraph

Someone has worked out the savings, 0.0002p an hour per phone or £1.17 an hour if 5000 phones on charge at once.

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In that case, can I ask all officers and staff who charge their police-issue phones, torches and other electrical equipment at home... to please cease and desist.

Pathetic :ermm:

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Someone has worked out the savings, 0.0002p an hour per phone or £1.17 an hour if 5000 phones on charge at once.

Whoever worked that out has incorrect maths or assumptions.

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In that case, can I ask all officers and staff who charge their police-issue phones, torches and other electrical equipment at home... to please cease and desist.

Pathetic :ermm:

It's not pathetic. Many companies won't let their employees abstract electricity (i.e. for personal use), why should the police be any different? There is NO obligation for police-issue electrical equipment to be charged at ones own expense, e.g. at home.

it sounds petty but it really does add up when you consider the number of mobile phone charges you see connected and the newer chargers use considerably more energy too (think the iPhone).

The police is a disciplined organisation and officers must abide by the orders of the Chief Constable. Why don't you espouse your personal views at your interview? whistling.gif

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It's not pathetic. Many companies won't let their employees abstract electricity (i.e. for personal use), why should the police be any different? There is NO obligation for police-issue electrical equipment to be charged at ones own expense, e.g. at home.

it sounds petty but it really does add up when you consider the number of mobile phone charges you see connected and the newer chargers use considerably more energy too (think the iPhone).

The police is a disciplined organisation and officers must abide by the orders of the Chief Constable. Why don't you espouse your personal views at your interview? whistling.gif

You are wrong there, all officers (even Specials! smile.gif) in my force have personal issue Airwave terminals which we take home and charge them there, and some (like me) have PDAs which are also charged at home.

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You are wrong there, all officers (even Specials! smile.gif) in my force have personal issue Airwave terminals which we take home and charge them there, and some (like me) have PDAs which are also charged at home.

I'm not saying you're not issued Airwaves, I'm saying I'm sure you're not obliged to charge it at home.

One of the remarks;

Knowing someone who works for the local council who uses their battery powered cycle for work, and keeps the charger at work, never using their own electricity for charging, I can understand the need to control the small amounts that continually drip away out of businesses. I suspect a pay reduction for all chief constables throughout the country would be far more effective than banning mobile phone charging though....... And restricting freedom of information questions might be worth looking at too.

- Hillbilly, West Country, 29/12/2011 12:31

Edited by samt
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Assuming the following:

Average charge length to full charge 3 hours.

High power charge up to 80% capacity is around 7W. (This is based on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus)

Lower power charge curve from 80% - 100% averages at around 3W.

Cost of electricity is 15p per KWh.

Total cost of a phone charge is 0.315p.

If you have 5000 people charging their phones once a day, every day of the year, it'll save a grand total of £5748.75. Small change really, but quite different to the figure quoted in the OP.

Edited by Burnsy2023
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I wasn't allowed to charge my phone or iPod at work during my last job, it isn't that much of a hardship unless you're unfortunate to own a mobile phone that needs recharging ever few hours.

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It's not pathetic. Many companies won't let their employees abstract electricity (i.e. for personal use), why should the police be any different? There is NO obligation for police-issue electrical equipment to be charged at ones own expense, e.g. at home.

it sounds petty but it really does add up when you consider the number of mobile phone charges you see connected and the newer chargers use considerably more energy too (think the iPhone).

The police is a disciplined organisation and officers must abide by the orders of the Chief Constable. Why don't you espouse your personal views at your interview? whistling.gif

Many police services (not mine), issue Airwave terminals to be kept at home, in order to save on the expense of providing large numbers of airwave lockers. Therefore I would submit that these officers and members of staff are under an obligation to charge their equipment at home, as no facilities are provided to do so at their place of work. It is not feasible to only charge your batteries when you are on duty, in fact with mine and my colleagues terminals, we generally have to change batteries half way through a shift, so clearly, they need to be charged and ready to go for the beginning of the shift.

I agree that this policy does sound somewhat petty, and equally, there are plenty of situations where police officers/staff provide their own equipment to improve their performance of their role (boots, torch batteries, pens etc), in most forces these things are available on issue, but it is usually far more expedient to provide them yourself. I think the charging of mobiles at work perhaps comes under the banner of 'goodwill', like that given every day by police officers and staff to allow the force to run effectively.

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Assuming the following:

Average charge length to full charge 3 hours.

High power charge up to 80% capacity is around 7W. (This is based on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus)

Lower power charge curve from 80% - 100% averages at around 3W.

Cost of electricity is 15p per KWh.

Total cost of a phone charge is 0.315p.

If you have 5000 people charging their phones once a day, every day of the year, it'll save a grand total of £5748.75. Small change really, but quite different to the figure quoted in the OP.

Excellent working-out, thank you! smiley_notworthy.gif

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Next you will be required to log how much of writing is done with your police issued BIC pen that is actually for private use and to pay back this percentage so as to not cost the police money.

(However the actual logging of this information will be considered police work and therefore allowed to be done with the police issue BIC, even this will take up even more ink than before)

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It's not pathetic. Many companies won't let their employees abstract electricity (i.e. for personal use), why should the police be any different? There is NO obligation for police-issue electrical equipment to be charged at ones own expense, e.g. at home.

it sounds petty but it really does add up when you consider the number of mobile phone charges you see connected and the newer chargers use considerably more energy too (think the iPhone).

The police is a disciplined organisation and officers must abide by the orders of the Chief Constable. Why don't you espouse your personal views at your interview? whistling.gif

Ok I'll give you an example of my old team then...

Total staff in office = 20+

Total chargers in office = 3

Total time in office at start of shift = Under 1 hour

Yes, you could leave it to charge overnight... but I can guarantee turning up the next day, someone has unplugged my Blackberry and stuck their's on charge... so when I switch it on, the battery is nearly dead. No, there is no "obligation" stated in Force Policy, but sometimes, certain things just have to be done. If you did everything by the guidelines, the police would cease to function.

This whole "cutbacks" thing is a total joke now - what next, officers having to lean out the window screaming "NEE NAW NEE NAW" because the force can't afford anymore sirens?

How about Senior Officers start making some of their own cutbacks? Let's start with those very nice looking company cars! ;)

Lead by example.
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I charge my radio and MDT at home. I never have my personal mobile on me at work, as I have a force issued one and the only reason I charge that up at work is because we only have 2 chargers between all of us!

Of all the things to moan about, this is not one of them really. It sounds like a non-story to put the police in a bad light...

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