Adjusting for population change, the number of police officers in England and Wales now is less than in 31 of the past 40 years

The government is reversing its earlier cuts to police numbers, but population increases mean that despite 13,800 extra posts over the past two years, the number of officers per 100,000 people now is still at levels not seen since 1980. To get back to the equivalent number of posts as in 2010, the government would have to fund another -104,600 posts – -110,800 more than planned.

larger image | annotated R code to produce this chart

Data source: Home Office, 2022

Matt Ashby
Matt Ashby
Lecturer in Crime Science

I am a lecturer in crime science at the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London (UCL). I am interested in crime analysis – particularly how crime concentrates in time and space – in crime prevention and in transport crime.

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