Conservative think-tank Policy Exchange has produced a report on the costs involved in running the police force and found that £150 million a year is wasted on officers carrying out jobs that could easily be fulfilled by civilians.
The report, the Cost of the Cops, said that uniformed officers are spending too much time "hidden away in back offices", working in control rooms and forensic suites instead of out on the streets policing.
The report highlighted figures which showed that some 14,500 officers did not make any arrests last year and in Derbyshire almost half of their officers made no arrests at all.
Blair Gibbs of Policy Exchange said: "Too many sworn officers are hidden away in back offices. As a result taxpayers have spent at least £500 million since 2006 in extra employment costs for over 7,000 police officers who have a uniform, but who aren't policing.
"There remains a clear gap between additional police resources and the service delivered. As far as the public are concerned, the unprecedented expansion in officer numbers since 2001 may as well never have happened."
The report claimed that the cost of policing in the UK was "significantly" higher than in countries such as the USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It stated that in 2010, each household paid out £614 for policing, while in 2001 it was just £395.
Peter Fahy, the Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable, said: "It is crucially important the police officers are used in roles which require their expertise, powers and experience.
"That said, this doesn't just apply to the front line, there are many office-based jobs where police officers are required, including handling intelligence, delivering training or processing offenders through the criminal justice system."
The Police Exchange's recommendations were not restricted to budgets, they also suggested that police officers should wear their uniforms when commuting to and from work, especially when on trains and buses.
By doing so, the think tank claimed visibility would be improved as it would equate to having an extra 1,200 officers on the streets.
But the idea was immediately pronounced impractical by the Police Federation who said the suggestions "simply do not translate into reality". They felt that asking officers to travel to work in their uniforms would make them and their families potential targets.