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2011: the start of a great decade for criminals?

Police reductions could see crime rate surge according to Think Tank Civitas

The Government has announced a 20% real terms reduction in police funding over the next four years, starting with a 6% cut in the national funding grant this year. Satisfying this proposal is likely to involve dramatic staff reductions, including of frontline police officers.

Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Nick Herbert has admitted the cuts will be 'challenging' for police forces. But what will be the impact on the general public? In this briefing, we show that there is a strong relationship between the size of police forces and national crime rates. As a result, this cut might turn out to be costly for the British public.

An International Comparison

Using data from the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics, Civitas compare the number of police officers per 100,000 population and recorded offences per 100,000 population.

They present the data from 2006 as it is the most recent year provided by the European Sourcebook with a reasonably complete dataset. However, the resulting pattern is similar in all the years (2003-2007) that the latest Sourcebook covers.

They have included all full members of the EU where both police numbers and recorded offences are available for 2006.


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