Labour Manifesto: Firefighters

Published: 16th May 2017

“Just look at the last seven [years of Conservative government]...… fewer firefighters too.

  • Fire services are devolved in the UK. When looking at only England, there were 5,800 fewer firefighters (known as ‘wholetime staff’ in the statistics) working the equivalent of full time in 2016 compared with 2010. That’s a drop of about 20%.
  • Across Great Britain, the headcount of firefighters has fallen during this period in England, Wales, and Scotland. In 2010 there were 36,000 firefighters and in 2016 there were 29,000.
  • But the number of incidents attended by fire services across Great Britain is also falling, from 830,000 in 2009/10 to 655,000 in 2015/16. These incidents include fires, false alarms, and non-fire incidents.

Correction 20 June 2017

We originally said we were comparing 2015/16 with 2010/11. This was incorrect – the comparison was between snapshots in March 2016 and March 2010. We also updated the figures for the number of incidents, to compare from 2009/10 to 2015/16, rather than 2010/11 to 2015/16 so that it tallied with the rest of the article.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Labour party manifesto launch,. Read the roundup.


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