25 January 2019
Leicestershire is one of two forces in the East Midlands region to experience a slight decrease in officer numbers over the last year.
The Home Office has today released The Police Workforce Statistics which reveal that in the year to September 2018 Leicestershire’s officer numbers fell from 1,772 to 1,765 (0.4 per cent). However, in the six months from September 2017 to March 2018 numbers had actually risen by five.
Of the four other forces in the East Midlands – Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire – the only other one to show a decrease was Derbyshire which lost three officers in the same 12-month period. Overall the region’s numbers were up 2.2 per cent, compared to an increase nationally of just 0.4 per cent.
“In some ways, we have to be grateful that our numbers are not continuing the rapid decline we saw when the Government first instigated its austerity measures around 10 years ago,” says Dave Stokes, chair of Leicestershire Police Federation, “However, these statistics are still not great news. We need the Government to go further and actually plough some money back into policing.
“Enough is enough, we need proper investment in the police service so that we can get our officer numbers back up to a point where we can provide a truly effective policing service for our communities but also so that we can ease some of the pressure on our members who are quite literally at breaking point as they try to meet the public’s needs and tackle increased demand for their assistance.”
Commenting on the national statistics, John Apter, national Federation chair, said: “This isn’t a cause for celebration. This is a miniscule increase and this report does not include data about those leaving the service and does not undo the damage caused by the reduction of the thousands of officers we have lost over the last eight years.
“I would be interested to see if this minute upwards trend continues; I suspect it is merely a blip and in any case it is not enough to compete with the increasing rate of violent crime. Tackling this level of violence needs an immediate re-think and we sincerely want to work with Government to help turn this around.”