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Wiltshire Police Federation

Novichok force has the thinnest blue line in UK

27 November 2018

The Times

The county struck by the deadly nerve agent attack has fewer police per head than any other force.

The Office for National Statistics revealed that the Wiltshire force has one full-time officer for every 721 people. Its resources were stretched after the poisoning of the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March that led to the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44.

The force has lost more than 18 per cent of its workforce since 2010, and had a 12.8 per cent rise in reported crime in that period, analysis by The Times shows. In Essex an almost identical reduction in workforce coincided with a crime rise of 28 per cent.

London is the best covered area with one officer to 290 residents. The Metropolitan Police has cut 11 per cent of its full-time officers and reported crime is at a similar level to 2010, according to the figures covering the year to March.

Kent police have ditched a five-year predictive crime project using analytical techniques that cost about £500,000. Kent, where 14 per cent of its workforce has been cut, has seen crime rise by more than 65 per cent since 2010.