Traffic police are being awarded points for arresting law breakers in a new system to boost productivity.

Officers in the Thames Valley have been set a minimum haul of 200 points a month, with different crimes attracting different points. Under the scheme, police will be given ten points for arresting a rapist or burglar compared with five for a motorist talking on a mobile phone or someone committing an affray or a public order offence. Catching an illegal immigrant with mental health problems would attact two points. But the sliding scale of rewards prompted anger among rank and file officers last night who said that the system trivialised crime.

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