Since the Conservative government came to power, both in coalition and after, our police service has been devastated by cuts to officers and staff, including PCSOs.
Our police are now understaffed, overworked and overstretched. And our communities are becoming less safe, as serious crime against the person has risen sharply as police numbers have fallen.
Find out how your area has been affected by police cuts and crime (England and Wales)
Between March 2012 and March 2016, police officer numbers dropped from 134,101 to 124,006. Greater Manchester alone lost 1,201 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.
In Scotland, the situation is slightly different. Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 around 2,000 police staff jobs have been lost. There has been no reduction in police officers because the government made a commitment to stick to 17,234 officers. A consultation called ‘Policing 2026’ is currently being carried out and will look at the ratio of police officers and police staff.
“These cuts have damaged the ability of the police service to keep the public safe, particularly the big cuts to neighbourhood policing which has compromised the ability of the police to gather vital intelligence,” says UNISON national officer Ben Priestley.