One police officer for every 721 people in Wiltshire

One police officer for every 721 people in Wiltshire

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 12:42pm 26th November 2018. (Updated at 1:53pm 26th November 2018)

New figures reveal that our county police force is the worst-staffed in England and Wales.

In a Home Office document, Wiltshire Police comes bottom of the 42 forces when it comes to the number of police officers per person.

There are 994 police officers covering 716,400 people in the county - this works out as one police officer for every 721 residents

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire said it's a concern for Wiltshire;

"We receive from the Home Office £151 per head of population against a national average of £171.

“The historic under-funding of Wiltshire Police fails to reflect the modern reality that a rural force has to deal with so much vulnerability including mental health, child and adult sexual exploitation and modern slavery. We must also grapple with 21st Century cyber crime and the threat of terrorism.

“It is also the case that Salisbury Plain covers 300 square miles in the heart of our county and it takes longer for our officers to get to incidents than it does for colleagues who police compact urban areas."

NEIGHBOURING COUNTIES NEAR BOTTOM OF THE LIST

Hampshire Constabulary have almost 2,000 more officers than Wiltshire, but sits fourth on the list of worst-staffed forces.

There are 698 people to every one officer in the county.

Avon and Somerset sit seven places below our county, with just 653 people per officer - Dorset are 11th on the list, with one per 610 people.

Police Officers per person (Home Office)
Wiltshire is bottom of the list of 42

Shadow policing minister Louise Haigh told the Press Association that communities were being left unprotected because the Government has cut police forces for the last eight years in a row.

"With police numbers at record lows it's little wonder that we're seeing violent and sexual crimes soaring year on year whilst conviction rates plummet.

"This is the only Government in modern history that has cut officer numbers every year it has been in office and the crime we are now seeing is on their heads."

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson said;

“There is a direct correlation between funding and officer numbers.  This is just the latest evidence to support the case we have been making for fair funding.  Given this context, it is a testament to the skill and dedication of our officers and staff who work so hard to serve the public that the force had been independently assessed as “good” in all eleven areas of its performance – just one of twelve police forces to achieve that.”

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