Police officer numbers have fallen

Published: 03 Mar 2017

In brief

Claim

The number of police officers has dropped by 20,000 since 2010.

Conclusion

The number of police officers has dropped by 19,000 since 2010.

“The number of police [officers] has dropped, hasn’t it, by 20,000 since 2010.”

David Dimbleby, 2 March 2017

The number of police officers in England and Wales fell by just under 19,000 between September 2010 and September 2016.

There were almost 123,000 police officers in September last year. Counting those from the British Transport Police and those on secondment it was 126,000.

This relates to the number of full time equivalent officers (or how many there would be if you added up all their hours to make full time roles).

The number of police officers in England and Wales is around the level it was at in 2000 (that’s if we look at how many police officers there were in March last year, which lets us compare further back in time).

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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