So, official figures reveal that 60% of the country’s 43 police forces have cut the number of police officers during 2009. 26 forces saw figures falling in the six months up to September last year.
The decrease in police officers is set to continue for many forces as budget cuts for 2010/2011 start to hit. The only saving factor for the government – in the spin stakes – is that they are still able to say that overall police numbers are increasing; there were some 560 additional numbers last year above the previous year (nearly 145,000 overall), but this is mainly due to the Met taking an additional 700 officers, most other forces are reducing numbers.
Prior to the release of the figures the Government have been happy to say how important it was & how well they were doing to increase numbers, you’d have thought that decreasing numbers would have an equal & opposite effect. Not So. In a master-stroke of spin the Home Secretary has said that ‘it is not all about numbers.’
“Police officer numbers remain historically high and they are doing a great job Ã¢â‚¬â€œ crime is down and public confidence is up. But it is not all about numbers, the force must carry on tackling crimes that matter most to the public and that is why the Government has guaranteed funding to maintain front line strength until 2013.”
So that’s alright then.