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Police numbers are not keeping up with exponentially rising population warns senior officer

AROUND 10,000 new cops will have to be recruited every year if the police force has any chance of keeping up with rising population levels, a senior officer has warned. Police Federation chairman Steve Hartshorn fears at least 8,000 plus new officers will be needed each year just to keep numbers static if current attrition levels continue. He spoke after the Government announced last week (Wednesday) it had hit a target of boosting officer numbers across the country by 20,000 over the past three years. The aim was to replace around 21,000 officers who were lost since 2010 under the Conservative Party's austerity measures. Mr Hartshorn said in reality there were less police officers per capita even with the new officers due to "exponential" population growth over the past 13 years. In 2010 the population in England and Wales was about 55.5 million, which has risen to an estimated more than 59 million this year, with predictions of a further around 2 million by 2030. Mr Hartshorn said: "The Government’s claim of the recruitment drive resulting in a stronger, healthily staffed service is misleading and misplaced. "The reality is, considering population growth of around four million since 2010, even with an `uplift’ of 20,000 officers, we will have fewer 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. "We need an uplift every single year just to maintain current1 numbers as last year to the end of March we lost 8,000 through retirement and resignations - if that trend changes to nine or ten thousand, it needs to go up accordingly."He said with rising population levels about 10,000 new officers a year may allow for slow growth. Many officers have left for the private sector with better pay and a "non political" job, he said. He added that it could require 80,000 to 100,000 applications a year as an average of just one in ten hopeful officers get through the recruitment process. He added: "Effectively the Government has backfilled the more than 21,000 full time equivalent (FTE) officers cut by the Government in 2010. The effect of these cuts has been felt and seen by the public and our officers have been suffering the consequences." Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “They cut 20,000 police officers from our streets. Now they expect the public to be grateful for a replacement programme that still leaves 6,000 fewer police out on the beat and 9,000 fewer officers in real terms compared to the last Labour government as the population has grown. “With more than 90 per cent of crimes going unsolved, victims dropping out in their millions, and recorded knife crime and sexual violence rising, the Conservatives have no grip on law and order." A Home Office spokesperson said: “This is a historic moment for our country as we peak at nearly 150,000 police officers in England and Wales, more than ever before. We have delivered on the promise we made to the British people which means more police on the beat preventing violence, solving burglaries and cracking down on antisocial behaviour. Progress is being made, with crime falling in England and Wales by 50% since 2010, excluding fraud and computer misuse. “Demand on the police has changed since 2010, and these new officers are changing the face of policing. They are more representative of the communities they serve, and this offers a unique chance to deliver the highest standards and common sense policing expected by the public.” A National Police Chiefs' Council spokesman added: "Over the past three years we have recruited more than 46,000 officers, replacing those who have retired or left during this period as well as the 20,000 additional officers. “Many of these new officers have joined areas where resources have typically dwindled over the past few years such as neighbourhood policing, crime investigations and public protection, giving us more opportunities to connect with and safeguard our communities.”


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