26 April 2023
National Chair Steve Hartshorn: “The 20,000 new police officers joining the service in England and Wales has been desperately needed, however, the Government’s claim of the recruitment drive resulting in a stronger, healthily staffed service is misleading and misplaced.
“Effectively the Government has backfilled the more than 21,000 full time equivalent (FTE) officers cut by the Government in 2010. It must not be overlooked that officers have been trying to cover the workloads associated to those losses and the additional 23,000 police staff roles that were cut at that time. The effect of these cuts has been felt and seen by the public and our officers have been suffering the consequences. Due to rising attrition rates, we would need closer to 50,000 new officers to cover these losses.
“The reality is, considering population growth of more than 4 million since 2010, even with an `uplift’ of 20,000 officers, we will have less officers on the streets than we had a decade ago. Half of all police forces now have fewer officers than they had in 2010 and voluntary resignations have almost doubled. For clarity, the Government should release the number of FTE officers in the service between 2010 to 2023, instead of the net headcount numbers, to avoid misleading the public.
“The smokescreen doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. It is time policing and the safety of the public are prioritised by this Government in a meaningful way and a Royal Commission on policing is appointed to ensure the service has the ability to fulfil their remit and serve and protect the public.”