I must have been asleep. I do sleep occasionally, I am sorry, but while I was asleep I missed the Home Office release of Police Service Strength figures last month.
In 2011 Theresa May told us that we would see Police Budgets cut by 20% and a reduction in Police numbers by 15,000 before the next election in 2015.
In March 2011 there were a total of 142,217 Full Time Equivalent officers within the Police Services of England and Wales (including BTP).
By September 2011 the figures had remained constant at 142,217, a figure I find highly suspicious that they EXACTLY matched the figure from 6 months previously.
March 2012 and we’re down to 137,139
September 2012 is now upon us and the Home Office have achieved a Police Strength of 134,885
March 2013 is clearly the most recent data available to us, and we now have a TOTAL Police establishment of 132,608.
So, in just 2 years Mrs Theresa May has managed to ‘lose’ almost 10,000 Police Officers, or 2 thirds of her 5 year target.
All of the above figures have been extracted from official Home Office documents which aren’t always the easiest to navigate one’s way around, and there is clearly a discrepancy with the 2011 figures somewhere. A separate data table shows the total Police establishment as 138,871 which is far more realistic.
So, nearly 10,000 down and another 2 and a half years to go. How do you feel about that?
Where have these jobs been lost from?
In the last 10 years we now see 4,761 less Constables than we had 10 years ago, and 6,990 less Constables than we had just 2 years ago, March 2011.
Where have all the rest gone?
In the last 2 years we have lost 1,766 Sergeants but this figure is an almost identical 1,767 MORE than we had 10 years ago.
We’ve lost 484 Inspectors in the last 2 years but this leaves us with only 3 less than 10 years ago.
Chief Inspectors have fared somewhat better with a mere 484 being lost since 2011 which leaves us only 3 down on the total 10 years ago.
Superintendents (inc Chiefs) have shed 183 of their number leaving them 73 down on 2003 levels.
And ACPO weigh in with a staggering loss of a mere 14, leaving them 6 up on 2003 levels.
Now how do you feel?
For some reason the Home Office feel that’s necessary to include or exclude BTP when quoting figures, when they compare year upon year figures they don’t always exactly match the figures quoted in the previous year’s report, and often they mix different stats on the same page. I guess it’s designed to confuse and keep the smoke swirling in front of the mirror, but I and others like me, will do our very best to see through the fog and let you know what is happening to our proud Service, or what’s left of it.
I’m fully aware that the figures I have quoted above don’t all add up, but I’m buggered if I can make any more sense out of the Home Office figures, they publish different figures, measured at different points in the year, and published in different documents, just to make life difficult I guess. But the undeniable truth is that Theresa May is Slashing the Police Service of England and Wales to an unsustainable level.