'We need more officers out on the beat' says Lancashire Police Federation chief

Rachel Hanley of the Lancashire Police Federation
Rachel Hanley of the Lancashire Police Federation

Lancashire's Police Federation today waded into the row over a link between police cuts and rising violent crime.

Federation Chairman Rachel Hanley said Prime Minister Theresa May still failed to recognise the link between police numbers and rising crime – as children were being killed with knives on our streets.

She was speaking as it was revealed that Lancashire has lost almost a fifth of its officers since 2010.

Rachel said: “The demand placed on policing services has increased considerably since the start of the austerity measures.

"We have seen a huge reduction in officers and staff numbers across the Constabulary, which relates to almost a quarter of our officers and staff.

“There is absolutely no surprise that crime, and in particular violent crime has increased at the same time as officer numbers have fallen.

"We don’t need new strategies and policies to tackle this, we need numbers, more officers out on the beat."

In 2010, there were 143,734 police officers in England and Wales. There are now 122,395 - 21,339 fewer.

In 2010 Lancashire Police had 3,649 police officers. There are now 2,884 -765 fewer.

According to Government statistics there’s been a 12% increase in police recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the past year - to 39,332 offences. It’s at the highest level since comparable data began to be collected in April 2010.

Latest Home Office figures show that in the year ending March 2018, there were 279,598 stops and searches conducted by police officers in England and Wales.

This was a fall of eight per cent compared with the previous year and continuing the downward trend since the peak in the year ending March 2011 when there 1,229,324 stop and searches.

Speaking in Salisbury this week, Theresa May said there was 'no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers'.

Rachel added: “The need for increased investment and a rise in police officer numbers is plain for everyone to see, so why on earth our Prime Minister cannot see this shows she is completely delusional.

“Policing needs investment and it needs it quickly to stop this trend, before more lives are lost.”