By Claire West

Home Office minister Nick Herbert has said planned reforms will ensure police are able to spend more time on the streets.

This comes as a report out today shows that just 11 per cent of officers are visibly available to the public at any one time.

The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary study also says that forces in England and Wales could save up to £1bn – 12 per cent of government funding – without reducing police availability.

Savings to be made

Responding to 'Valuing the police – policing in an age of austerity', the policing and criminal justice minister said: 'We share the view that the rise in police numbers and resources has not been reflected in increasing visibility, and that there are savings to be made through greater force collaboration, smarter use of the workforce and a reduction in bureaucracy.

'This report shows that, even if resources are tighter, we can still get officers out onto the streets, where the public want to see them. Our reforms to make the police more accountable to their local communities will make sure that happens.'