Select Committee on Home Affairs Seventh Report

Key facts

  • According to the British Crime Survey, crime levels have fallen by 48% since 1995.
  • 53% of people thought that the police in their area did an excellent or good job last year; 43% of people thought the police could be relied on to deal with minor crimes; and 48% believed they would be there when needed.
  • The average police officer spends around 14% of their time on patrol; the average police community support officer spends 75%.
  • It is estimated that officers spend around 20-30% of their time completing paperwork.
  • Alcohol-related crime is estimated to cost the economy £7.3bn a year. 45% of victims of violence describe their assailant as being under the influence of alcohol. 70% of police officers believe that attending alcohol-related incidents diverts them away from tackling other kinds of crime.
  • Overall police spending was estimated at £12.6 billion in 2007/08.
  • The police service spends around £1 billion a year on technology, yet up to 70% of data has to be entered into systems more than once.
  • Only 12 out of the 43 English and Welsh forces employ a workforce of over 6,000, considered to be the minimum size for successfully tackling serious and organised crime.
  • The police service employs around 145,000 police officers, 77,000 police staff, 16,000 police community support officers and 14,500 special constables.
  • There are 6 applicants per vacant officer place and 6% of officers leave the service or transfer to another force each year. However, forces surrounding London have lost 1,038 officers to the Metropolitan Police in the last five years.

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Prepared 10 November 2008