police

Chart: Some police forces are much more likely to prosecute violence

Once police have enough evidence to prosecute an offender, they or prosecutors must decide whether to send the case to court or deal with it informally. For violent crimes, the likelihood of a case going to court varies substantially across police forces, with some prosecuting over 80% of cases and others diverting two thirds to other resolutions such as paying compensation.

Chart: No big changes in sentences after new police-assaults law

The government recently doubled the maximum sentence for assaulting a police officer to 12 months in prison, introducing a new offence of assaulting an emergency worker. So far, this change is associated with only small increases in sentences handed down in court.

Chart: Stop and search has fallen, arrests from searches less so

Police can search people they suspect of having prohibited items such as drugs or weapons. Since 2011, searches have decreased by 70%. Only 12% of searches lead to arrest, but this is increasing – total arrests from searches have decreased only 38% since 2011, suggesting police are getting better at targeting offenders.

Chart: Stop and search has fallen, arrests from searches less so

Police can search people they suspect of having prohibited items such as drugs or weapons. Since 2011, searches have decreased by 70%. Only 12% of searches lead to arrest, but this is increasing – total arrests from searches have decreased only 38% since 2011, suggesting police are getting better at targeting offenders.

Chart: Police crackdowns catch few drink drivers

Police routinely breathalyse drivers they suspect have been drinking, but also carry out an annual Christmas crackdown, breath-testing more than three times as many drivers in December as in other months.

Chart: 10 times more people die in police collisions than in shootings

About 100 people a year die following contact with police in England and Wales. Public debate has often focused on deaths in custody or police shootings, but people are much more likely to die in collisions with police vehicles or in suicides following release from custody.

Chart: More than 1,400 football arrests each season

Over the past five years, more than 1,400 people have been arrested on average each season for football-related offences across the top five English divisions, with incidents reported at over 1,000 different matches.

Chart: When police use force, they rarely cause injury

Police reported using force on over 300,000 occasions last year, or about 850 each day, with most incidents involving either handcuffing or other restraint. Almost all force used by police resulted in no injury to the person force was used against.

Chart: In five years, crime-related demands on police have almost doubled

One way to understand crime-related demands on police forces is to track ‘crime pressure’, a measure of investigative workload representing the number of crimes reported to a force per officer, weighted according to Office for National Statistics estimates of the relative severity of different crimes.

Chart: Police are arresting half as many people as a decade ago

A combination of legal changes and decreases in many common types of crime, together with closures of custody suites due to budget cuts, mean police are making about 760,000 fewer arrests per year now, compared to a decade ago.