The last (honest) in my mini-series on the perils of Rural Policing features North Yorkshire Police, and the home county of our much-loved and respected Mike Pannett (@MikePannett), author and TV/Radio Celebrity.
North Yorkshire is the biggest rural area in England, so if it needs to be suitably policed.
North Yorkshire consists of 3,209 square miles and contains 798,989 people. Not quite as large as Dyfed Powys but 1.5 times as many people.
According to the HMIC stats the Force Strength is 3.24 Full Time Equivalent Staff (this figure apparently DOES NOT include Specials like I previously thought it did, but does include everybody else) per 1,000 head of population.
As we’ve seen before Home Office figures often contrast considerably with HMIC figures because the HMIC figures are slanted to make you think that there are more officers looking after your streets than there really are. So what does the Home Office have to say about North Yorks?
In March 2010 North Yorks had a total establishment of 1,486 Full Time Equivalent Police Officers or one officer for every 538 people or 1.88 officers per 1,000 head of population or 1.42 Constables per 1,000 head of population.
In March of this year those HO figures were; a total establishment of 1,370 officers or 1.71 officers per 1,000 head of population and a mere 1.3 Constables per 1,000 head of population. Coincidentally their Target Establishment for 2015 is also 1,370, so they have already achieved that 2 years early.
1.3 Constables per 1,000 head of population. Take away Abstractions, Sickness, Annual Leave, Specialist Duties etc and how many are there left? I don’t know that figure is not published.
To revise my earlier questions;
- Is a figure of slightly more than one and a half (or probably LESS) Police Officers per 1,000 head of population sufficient to ensure Public Safety?
- Is a figure of slightly more than one and a half (or probably LESS) Police Officers per 1,000 head of population sufficient to ensure Officer Safety?
- Why do the Home Office and HMIC use different comparators for illustrating Policing Strengths?
- Why is it appropriate to include civilian Police Staff in HMIC Policing Strength figures?
I return to my original question, “Who’s Looking After Mike Pannett?” Almost nobody I suspect. You OK there Mike? Don’t worry Mike I’ve forwarded these figures to PASC as yet another example of Police Stat-Fudging. You’ll be OK.