Cleveland Police work practices branded 'about as inefficient as you can possibly imagine'
Work practices at Cleveland Police were "about as inefficient as you can possibly imagine" with officers sharing laptops and bodyworn cameras, the chief inspector of constabulary said.
During a visit to the force in March, Sir Thomas Winsor said he was "startled to discover" the force did not have enough bodyworn cameras for all frontline officers on shift because it could not afford it.
He said this would have been a broadly one-off cost of £300,000, adding: "It's really extraordinary why they didn't do that."
He said some officers were still making notes with pen and paper and then at the end of their shifts "queuing up" to "take turns to key in" the information to force laptops - because there were not enough laptops to go around.
"That's about as inefficient as you can possibly imagine.
"They are taking all that seriously under new leadership."
He gave the example of the visit while discussing his report into the state of policing over the last year, in which he recommends reforms to make forces more effective and efficient and calls for more investment in technology.
The force's new chief constable, Richard Lewis, who took over in May, said: "We note Sir Thomas Winsor's recognition that we are taking these challenges seriously and look forward to continuing to work with him as we move forward.
"As an organisation we've identified that our performance is not good enough.
"We're being honest with our communities about the scale of change necessary and took the unprecedented step last week of writing an open letter to them pledging to make the decisive improvements necessary.
"This is a big piece of work and we do not underestimate the challenges ahead of us.
"We must also be clear that, based on what we have seen, this is not simply about a lack of resources. It's about how these resources are being used."
Last week Chief Con Lewis visited Hartlepool and later spoke about plans to reorganise the force with more front-line officers expected to be redeployed on Hartlepool’s streets by autumn.