Government cuts to our police service are putting us all at risk.
Since the Conservative government came to power, both in coalition and after, our police service has been devastated by cuts to officers, staff and PCSOs. Our police are now understaffed, overworked and overstretched and our communities are becoming less safe.
The cuts in numbers
Between March 2012 and March 2016, police officer numbers dropped from 134,101 to 124,006, a reduction of over 10,000. Greater Manchester alone lost 1201 police officers between 2012 and 2016.
In 2010 there were 79,500 police staff working for forces in England and Wales. By March 2016, this number had dropped to 61,668.
This represents a cut of nearly 23% in the police staff workforce.
The Metropolitan Police has been worst affected, with over 3,000 police staff jobs going between 2012 and 2016.
Police staff work alongside police officers as 999 call takers/dispatchers, scenes of crime officers, detention officers, statement takers and investigators, fingerprint and forensic teams, criminal justice clerks preparing prosecution files, researchers and analysts, station enquiry clerks, health and safety officers, trainers, communications staff, technical support teams and enquiry staff, IT, finance, legal, HR and press.
Police community support officers (PCSOs) are also police staff, and they make up 75% of neighbourhood policing teams.
Or at least they did. PCSO jobs have been hit even harder than police officer or police staff jobs with 3,350 jobs disappearing between 2012 and 2016. PCSOs complain that they no longer have time to do the community policing they were employed to do
These devastating cuts across the police service have damaged the ability of the police to keep the public safe. Since the end of 2013, serious crime against the person in England and Wales has risen sharply, as police numbers have fallen.
Cuts and crime
The cuts to the police force have had a predictable impact: crime has gone up.
Police recorded crime shows that since 2013 crime rates have increased by 7.5%. Serious crime has gone up much, much more:
- Recorded incidents of violence against a person have increased by 65.1%
- Recorded incidents of possession of a weapon have increased by 28.7%
- And recorded incidents of public order offences have increased by 54.4%
If we want a safe society, we must have a properly funded police service.
Explore the map to see how your county police force area has been affected by police cuts and how this has impacted on crime in your area.
You can view the full data set in a Google document.
Talk to colleagues, friends and family
If we want a safe society, we must have a properly funded police service. It takes many police staff to keep an officer on the beat; so cutting police staff makes no sense. It is simply not safe to cut police by 23% and we need to make sure everyone knows it.
Spread the word online
- Check out our map and talk about cuts to your local force online using the hashtag #policecuts
You can also talk about:
- Between 2012 and 2016 3,350 police community support officers (PCSOs) lost their jobs. PCSOs make up 75% of neighbourhood policing teams, so communities are being put at risk
- Cuts to the police service are causing stress levels to rise and morale to fall, as fewer police staff are forced to take on the work of those colleagues made redundant
- Cuts to police staff have led to some police forces putting volunteers into sensitive operational roles to replace redundant police staff.