PSAEW: Police Officer numbers at nine-year low
Commenting on the Home Office numbers published today, the President of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales, Chief Superintendent Derek Barnett said:
"Everyone in policing understands the difficult financial position the country faces, and we accept that all parts of the public sector must shoulder the burden of the cuts in funding. That is why police forces across the country are working hard to find better and more efficient ways of working, for example by making better use of technology, improved procurement of goods and services and by widening the collaboration between forces. Clearly as today's figures show we have also lost over five thousand officers.
The Government has no clear definition of what constitutes the 'front line' in policing, which in any event is unhelpful and fails to recognise the contribution of all police officers and staff who strive to fight crime and serve and protect the public in an increasingly demanding, unforgiving and complex world.
I pay tribute to the valuable work of the men and women who volunteer as Special Constables, and welcome the increase in their numbers. But they must not and nor should they ever be seen as a replacement for fully trained and professional full time police officers.
Events in London and elsewhere last summer and more recently in the run up to the Olympics has seen the value of having a police service that is fully trained , equipped and sufficiently resilient to respond to any eventuality to protect the public.
We are asking our officers to do more with less and they continue to deliver. We will continue to police our communities to the best of our capability with the resources allocated to us, but the public understand that police officer numbers matter to the service we deliver."
The Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales is the sole representative body for the senior operational leaders in policing in the ranks of Superintendent and Chief Superintendent.