Our Director, Richard Garside, appeared on the BBC current affairs programme Victoria Derbyshire to discuss falling police numbers. This was in the wake of threats made earlier this week by Steve White, chair of the Police Federation, that further cuts to police budgets would lead to paramilitary-style policing.
Richard wrote two articles in response to these threats (which you can read here and here) putting recent trends in police officer numbers in a longer term perspective. He cites major growth in police budgets and the resulting explosion in officer numbers initiated by the Labour government in the early 2000s which displaced other important social services.
Richard goes on to argue that the projected falls in police numbers, rather than leading to a dystopian lawless land, would give us the opportunity to rebalance public policy and rebuild vital social institutions.
We track changes to police budgets and staffing levels, as well as those of other criminal justice institutions, in our annual UK Justice Policy Review.