• Police numbers in England and Wales at their lowest number since 2003 according to House of Commons briefing report
  • 151,000 full time or equivalent officers in the UK is around 4,000 fewer than  2003
  • Gloucestershire Constabulary’s establishment is 1060
  • Report illustrates the difficulty faced by police in maintaining the level of services the public have become accustomed to, says PCC

The number of police in England and Wales is now at its lowest level for more than a decade, according to official figures.


Gloucestershire Police Stations – Gloucester Police Station – 03.11.14
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A House of Commons briefing report on police strength shows there are now 151,000 full time or equivalent officers in the UK – around 4,000 fewer than  2003 when the current accounting system was introduced.

Total police service strength across the United Kingdom increased year on year between 2003 and 2010. In 2003 there were 155,000 officers and just over 171,600 in 2010. Gloucestershire Constabulary’s establishment is 1060.

The number of police officers has fallen each year since 2010. The current figure represents a reduction of 2.5% compared to 2003 and a decrease of 11.7% from 2010.

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “There is no great surprise in this report but what it does spell out is how exceedingly challenging it will be to maintain the level of services the public have become accustomed to.

“Undoubtedly, the biggest test will be finding the balance between countering the more varied and complex crimes the Police are confronted with today and the more traditional neighbourhood policing which people tell me they want but is being eroded.


“It is too simplistic to say we need more Bobbies on the beat when it is clear police resources are diminishing. But these concerns will be addressed in my new police and crime plan and I will continue my discussions with the Chief Constable to find the best way of protecting the public and giving them more of what they expect”.

The report, which has just been published, explores police service strength data from the Home Office, Scottish Government, and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Each country receives individual analysis utilising the available data from each police force area and international comparisons where available.

You can see the full report here – http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN00634#fullreport