Police Federation comment on Home Office police service strength figures

Thursday, 31 January, 2013

Steve Williams, Chairman, Police Federation of England and Wales, says:

"British police officers are regarded as the finest in the world. The latest force strength figures highlight that not only does Britain have the lowest number of police officers in over a decade, but that while this number has been reducing, the population has been increasing - making the gap in policing per population head even wider.

"We accept that huge advances in technology over this same decade have meant that many functions have been streamlined in terms of operational delivery and that we must always look at how we can do more for less. However, these same advances have brought about whole new crime types such as cyber-crime. Hence, the stretch on police capacity has not reduced, merely changed in profile.

"The government must question whether a reduced police service that operates only on a cost basis is what the public expects. Effective policing encompasses much more than solving crime - areas such as road traffic accidents, mental health incidents, missing persons, intelligence gathering and simply providing visible safety and reassurance to the local community are equally important and officer dependent."

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