First analysis of national demand on policing published

The first national picture of the breadth and complexity of the work undertaken by the police has been published by the College of Policing.

​The analysis shows the incoming and ongoing work of the police and suggests an increasing amount of police time is directed towards public protection work such as managing high-risk offenders and protecting victims who are at risk and often vulnerable.

These cases are often extremely challenging and rightly require considerable amounts of police resource.

The analysis shows in the past five years the number of police officers has fallen by 11 per cent. On a typical day in a typical force there is approximately one officer on duty for every 1,753 people living in a force area.

On a typical day, officers in that force will make 50 arrests, deal with 101 anti-social behaviour incidents, respond to approximately 12 missing person reports, carry out 37 stop and searches, deal with 9 road traffic collisions, and respond to 14 incidents flagged as being linked to mental health issues.

In addition to reacting to calls for service from the public, the police service will also be supporting 2,700 families enrolled in the troubled families programme, supporting approximately 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.

The College of Policing analysis indicates there are emerging pressures on police resilience – namely decreased levels of police visibility and increasing requests for mutual aid. It also shows that incidents involving people with mental health issues appear to be increasing.

In some forces, public safety and concern for welfare incidents now represent the largest category of recorded incidents.

College of Policing chief executive officer Chief Constable Alex Marshall said:
“The role of the College of Policing is to provide the people who work in policing with the knowledge and the skills they need to protect the public, cut crime and catch criminals.

“This work presents a clear picture of what the police are doing on a daily basis in local communities. In every force decisions have to be made about priorities and where to place resources. This analysis will assist in that decision making.

“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.”

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