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inredible shrinking man
Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

Our police service keeps shrinking

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Latest official police workforce stats. Given our current fixation on reducing the budget deficit, it's hard to imagine that next year's workforce figures will show anything other than a further decrease.

Fewer police officers…

The latest police workforce figures for England and Wales (covering the year to 31 March 2015) show that, for the fifth year running, there were fewer police officers than the previous year.

The table below shows that the number of police officers dropped by 0.9% (1091 officers), while the number of PCSOs dropped by 5.6% and the number of special constables by 9.4%.

police numbers 2015

Variable national picture

Interestingly, the picture varied considerably across the country. While 13 police forces showed an increase of between 0.1% – 5.3%, 10 areas showed a decrease of between 4.1% to 9.3%.

Professional criminals should consider moving from Bedfordshire (5.3% increase) or London (+ 3%) and moving to Suffolk (6.4% decrease) or Durham (-9.3%).

police officers by areaBits and pieces

Other facts of interest include:

  • The proportion of female police officers has increased from 22.3% in 2006 to 28.2% in 2015 (up 0.2% last year)
  • The proportion of minority ethnic police officers has increased from 3.6% in 2006 to 5.5% in 2015 (up from 5.2% the previous year)
  • 6432 police officers joined the 43 police forces in the last year while 6988 police officers left.
  • The highest proportion of police officers left Durham (10.6%), Northants (8.2%) and Kent (also 8.2%)

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Conclusion

Given our current fixation on reducing the budget deficit, it’s hard to imagine that next year’s workforce figures will show anything other than a further decrease.

 

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