Latest Public Sector News

11.09.12

Frontline police numbers down by almost 1,000

Nearly 6,800 frontline posts have been cut since the general election, compared to the 5,800 predicted to be lost throughout the entire parliament, new analysis shows.

Research commissioned by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper found that the average force has seen a reduction of 6% in frontline officers across England and Wales, with eight forces losing more than 10%.

Out of 43 forces, only two have managed to use the 20% budget cuts to boost their frontlines through reorganisation.

In July, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) estimated that just 5,800 posts would be lost throughout the police over five years of parliament.

Cooper said: “6,800 frontline officers have gone in two years compared to the 5,800 that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate predicted would be lost over five years. Given the concern over community safety it is no wonder the Government is looking for someone else to blame.

“We know Theresa May will try to hide behind PCCs as communities deal with the serious consequences of [losing] so many officers from our high streets and community beats. Yet it is government decisions which are undermining the ability of the police to fight crime.”

But a Home Office spokesperson said: “They show that the proportion of officers on the frontline will rise. The vast majority of forces are rising to the challenge we set them of improving services while making their contribution to reducing the deficit. Crime is down, victim satisfaction is improving and the response to emergency calls is being maintained.”

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