Saturday, 5 September 2009


The latest report from the crime analysis team at Nice 1 Ltd, looks in some detail at five key areas that affect policing in the UK.

Covering all 43 police forces of England & Wales, the report examines the population figures. force strengths, the proposed force budgets for 2010/2011, recorded offence frequency and counts and detection rates.

To download the full report summary click here or the image above.

The summary brings together for the first time, data from a number of different Home Office reports. With information presented in an at-a-glance format, the reader may quickly see "rankings" by force area, of :-

  • Population size - 1st being the force policing the largest population
  • Available officers - 1st being the force with the largest strength of officers
  • Ratio of officers to population - 1st being the force with highest population per officer
  • Proposed budgets - 1st being the force with the largest budget
  • Cost of budget per head of population - 1st being the force with the highest per person
  • Cost of budget per household - 1st being the force with the highest per household
  • Offence frequency - 1st being the force with the highest offence frequency per 1000 population
  • Offence count - 1st being the force dealing with highest offence count
  • Police detections - 1st being the force with the highest overall detection rate

The report could be examined force by force and detailed observations noted. For brevity here we will highlight just a few that stood out for us :-

Metropolitan : Highest population responsibility, largest number of officers "available", almost the greatest number of officers per head of population, the largest and most expensive budget for the taxpayer, highest offence frequency and count, yet 30th in the table for detections.

Greater Manchester : Similar story here, 3rd largest population, among the highest officer to public ratios, 3rd largest budget, 5th most expensive to the taxpayer, 2nd highest offence frequency and count, yet 35th in the detection league table.

Merseyside : 14th largest population size, 5th largest resource, among highest officer ratio, a top 10 budget force, 10th in the offence frequency and counts, yet they managed a respectable 8th in the detection league.

Northumbria : 13th largest population, 7th highest police resource, 6th best officer to population ratio, 10th highest budget, 11th in cost to the taxpayer, 16th in both offence categories, achieving 4th in the detection rate table.

Clearly each force has its own challenges, with population density, geographic coverage and many more variables that affect the results achieved. Indeed, the Home Office documents from where this information was sourced contain many pages of explanatory notes as to how budgets and officer strength are determined.

The availability of officers is a contraversial area, and it should be noted that the figures reported here are straight lifts from Home Office documents, and do not reflect officers engaged in administrative or strategic planning roles. Whilst counted as available, many work 9-5 shifts and this therefore has a significant impact on the actual numbers of officers available to perform front line duties. Contributions on this subject are welcome.

We would be keen to hear the views of interested readers, police or public to the results.

For those who wish to dig a little deeper, we have included links below to the data reports that sit behind the summary above.

Detailed population vs force strength & ratio report click here

Detailed population vs force budget report click here

Detailed population vs recorded offence report click here

The reports can also be viewed in future from the side bar on the right. (Once this post has been archived).

Future articles will appear from these pages and that of our sister site Car Crime UK, where we will explore further aspects of Home Office and associated authority statistics.

Should you require any further information about the information contained in these reports, please refer to the contact panel at the foot of the page, or e mail us via the link below this article, or click here

The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Ltd


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