More police time ‘protection work’


Published: Thursday 22nd January 2015 by The News Editor

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An increasing amount of police officers’ time is directed towards public protection work, such as managing high-risk offenders and protecting at-risk victims, the professional standards body for police has found.

The College of Policing has published analysis of police work across the country in a move to build the first national picture of the “breadth and complexity” of the service.

Ministers frequently hold up falling crime figures as evidence that austerity has not had an impact on tackling crime, but police officers have argued much of what they do falls outside crime figures.

It shows in the past five years the number of police officers has fallen by 11% and on average there is around one officer on duty for every 1,753 people living in a force area on any one day.

Officers within an average force will make 50 arrests, deal with 101 anti-social behaviour incidents, respond to roughly 12 missing person reports, carry out 37 stop and searches, deal with nine road traffic collisions and respond to 14 incidents flagged as being linked to mental health issues.

The police service across England and Wales will also be supporting 2,700 families enrolled in the troubled families programme, supporting roughly 1,600 domestic abuse victims, 1,000 children subject to Child Protection Plans and managing 1,189 sexual and violent offenders in partnership with other local bodies.

College of Policing chief executive officer Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: ” The evidence shows that while the number of crimes may have fallen, the level of demand on police resources has not reduced in the same way.

“The changing mix of crime means that over the past 10 years, investigating and preventing crime has become more complex, and the costs of crime for the police have not fallen as much as overall numbers of crimes.

“Complex crimes such as child abuse and domestic violence are also understandably taking up more police time.

“The College will continue to build on this early evidence base by working with forces to develop consistent approaches to map demand and to help inform policy decisions.”

The College of Policing analysis indicates there are emerging pressures on the forces – such as falling levels of police visibility.

Published: Thursday 22nd January 2015 by The News Editor

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