Blues And Twos - Police Officer's Blog

Blues and Twos - Police & Law Blog is a an amalgamation of thoughts, feelings and observations on news, current affairs and UK policing in general. Our police blog has contributions from officers of the rank of Inspector (Organ Grinder) down to Constable (Monkey). Blues and Twos - The Police Officer's Blog

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Police Reform - Police Mergers

Yesterday I posted Police Reform - What's The Real Cost?

I've done a little research on the internet today regarding the whole police reform - police merger issue. Specifically relating to police officer numbers in the UK.

Back in January 2005 ACPO published a press release in response to a report published by Civitas. (The Institute for the Study of Civil Society)

Civitas' report was jumped on by the press - UK police 'among the world's worst' being a prime example of what was being published following this 'independent' report.

ACPO's press release in response to the Civitas report stated :
"In fact comparison with other police operations are difficult in Europe and the USA, as the number of police officers per head of population is much larger."

You can read what you like into this, but I take it as meaning that the UK's police force / service cannot be measured against other country's police forces, due to the fact that other countries have more police officers per head of population than we do in the UK.

So back in 2005, ACPO are insinuating that the only way to improve / be able to compare the UK police on crime clear-ups, detections, prevention etc with other countries, is to bring us into line on number of police officers per head of population.

To actually find the figures showing how we compare with other countries on number of police officers per head of population is really difficult!

I've found a report on The House of Commons website which gives figures from the year 2000 comparing the UK to numerous other countries. This report was still being quoted in 2003, but I can't find anything more current. If you visit the above, you'll have to really dig into this report to get the numbers - It's not in the easiest format I've ever seen!

Here's the numbers of police officers per 100,000 head of population according to the House of Commons report.

Portugal 481
Greece 426
France 397
Austria 330
Spain 312
Ireland 302
Luxembourg 300
Netherlands 269
Germany 262
USA 238
England and Wales 235
Australia 228
Japan 208
Korea 204
Switzerland 201
Denmark 195
Norway 192
Turkey 190
New Zealand 185
Canada 184
Belgium 183
Sweden 181
Italy 169
Finland 154
India 134

According to this report the current 2006 number of police officers per 100,000 head of UK population now stands at 267. Which on 2000's figures would still only place the UK 9th in 2000's league table. This is also assuming that the other countries listed haven't increased their numbers since the year 2000!

To be perfectly frank this just seems to be a smoke and mirrors operation.

If ACPO are to believed, last year the only way to improve the UK's police performance was to increase the number of police officers. This year it would appear that a better way to do this would be to reduce police officer numbers, but increase the number of PCSO's.

Am I just being cynical, but do you think this may have more to do with the salary costs when comparing police officers with PCSOs?

At the end of the day it's the public that suffers and the public that'll have to eventually decide whether this country continues being Soft On Crime.

Radical Law And Order Reform
Police Recruitment

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