One in four forces have fewer officers than in 2010

More than a quarter of police forces in England have fewer police officers in their ranks than when the Conservatives came into power 14 years ago, according to analysis by LBC.

Jun 5, 2024
By Website Editor

LBC obtained data from thirty forces across England through Freedom of Information requests, and found eight of them had experienced a decline in total officer numbers compared to May 2010.

Despite the Conservative Party delivering more than 20,000 recruits across England and Wales through the Police Uplift programme, and overall officer numbers having increased since their peak during the last Labour government, three of England’s five biggest police services are still operating with fewer bobbies on the beat.

West Midlands Police, England’s second largest force has seen the most substantial cut to its numbers, losing more than 650 police in this period.

Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police, Merseyside, Avon and Somerset, Lancashire, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Bedfordshire all reported lower officer numbers since the coalition government came into power.

Responding to LBC’s findings, Home Secretary James Cleverly said “we promised to put 20,000 extra police officers on the street, and we’ve put money where our mouth is. In many forces, there are more officers than ever before. London, under Labour, has spectacularly failed to recruit police officers and police numbers are going down.”

Although the Metropolitan Police faces a shortfall of 1,400 officers, according to Sir Mark Rowley, the force nonetheless has 800 more recruits on its books than in 2010.

Crime is set to be a key battleground ahead of the election on July 4th, with shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, today pledging to ‘take back the streets from thugs and thieves’ by employing an additional 13,000 police and community support officers.

For their part, the Conservatives point out that only a quarter of those recruits would be full-time officers with the power of arrest.

Whilst the claim that 20,000 additional officers have been recruited since 2019 is substantiated by Home Office data, LBC’s analysis shows there has been a considerable regional disparity in where those officers have been employed.

Related News

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional