As knife crime soars in England and Wales and police numbers fall, Police Scotland is staffed at 50% higher level


(c) Police Scotland

According to the Guardian yesterday, in England and Wales, knife crime has increased by 21% to September 2017. This a dramatic figure large enough to suggest an emerging and extremely worrying trend.

In Scotland, knife crime increased in 2017 by 4.4% after years of falling dramatically. This is a small enough figure to be a statistical ‘blip’ and cannot be used to indicate a trend.

The contrast has already been made in the report of 35 murders of children and teenagers by knife in England and Wales 2017 and the fact that there no such deaths in Scotland in the same year.

‘Knife crime has killed 35 children and teenagers in England and Wales so far this year, meaning that 2017 is likely to be the worst year for such deaths in nearly a decade. Official figures exclusively obtained by the Guardian show that this year will be the worst since 2008 when 42 young people aged 19 and under lost their lives as a result of an attack with a knife.’

For more detail, see:

Of 35 children and teenagers killed with knives in Britain in 2017, not one was in Scotland, yet in 2005, the UN called Scotland the most violent country in the developed world.

While there will be multiple and complex reasons behind this trend, policed numbers will be one factor. Again, from the Guardian:

‘Meanwhile, official figures show that the number of police officers in England and Wales has fallen by 930 in the past 12 months, to 121 929, the lowest level since comparable records began in 1996. Police officer numbers are now 22 424 below their peak in 2009, when there were 144 353 officers.’

In Scotland, contrary to some reporting, police numbers have increased. See this:

‘As at 30 June 2017, there were 17 249 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland.  This is an increase of 1 015 police officers from the position at 31 March 2007 (+6.3 per cent). Police officer numbers have decreased by 7 FTE officers in the last quarter, since 31 March 2017, and increased by 7 FTE officers in the last year since 30 June 2016.’

So, what do these figures mean in terms of the ratio of police officers to members of the public? See this:

Population England and Wales in 56 million

Number of police officers in 2017 was 121 929

Population Scotland is 5.3 million

Number of police officers in 2017 was 17 249

Ratio of population to officers England and Wales: 459/1

Ratio of population to officers Scotland: 307/1

So, as with teachers, nurses, and GPs, Scotland has a much better ratio of police officers to members of the public and thus presumably presence on the streets enabling stop and search tactics to be effective.

9 thoughts on “As knife crime soars in England and Wales and police numbers fall, Police Scotland is staffed at 50% higher level

  1. Brian January 26, 2018 / 5:24 pm

    I watched BBC News at six yesterday, 25th. Their tame correspondant came on to provide an interpretation of the Crime Nos in England and Wales. Not his exact words, but close – “Yes, knife crime and gun crime up significantly, but reported crime is down, so this is actually a good news story.” Gulp, let me play that back. Yes, he really said that.
    I didn’t literally fall off my chair, but it was close.
    No mention of the contrast with Scotland knife crime – which would have been relevant given where we came from in 2005. No mention of the Glasgow/London Police initiative. No mention of the Police numbers.
    Come to your own conclusion.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ludo Thierry January 26, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    Apols – not trying to deliberately go off Topic but just mentioning hard evidence of further decline in britnat print press. From holdthefrontpage regarding further job losses (sadly) – this time at D.C.Thomson: see below:

    Eleven jobs are set to go as part of a regional publisher’s drive to centralise the sub-editing and advertising operations at its daily newspapers.
    DC Thomson has confirmed it is seeking to make five production journalists redundant, as well as six advertising staff.
    The redundancies are being sought as part of a plan to introduce teams working across its four dailies – Aberdeen-based titles the Press & Journal and the Evening Express, and Dundee-based titles the Evening Telegraph and the Courier.
    Mike Watson, pictured, managing director of DC Thomson Media, said: “The media environment continues to be challenging. Due to these challenges we are reviewing functions within the business to ensure we have a healthy and profitable future in the media world.

    The managing director is quoted “The media environment continues to be challenging” – Well it absolutely will be if your business plan is to pump daily bile, bilge and cat-calling at fully half one’s potential customer base. Nobody is asking these titles to become slavish followers of the cause of Indy – all we’re asking is a bit of transparency, a bit of balance, a bit of realistic descriptions of peoples’ ideas and positions and statements rather than the current ranting ravings of pure delusional fiction.

    Until these executive guys decide to try a little more balance then – I’m afraid, the papers will continue to die on their feet (but the exec. guys aren’t the ones that lose their jobs until the very end).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ludo Thierry January 26, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    Again – craving forgiveness for going OT – but haven’t seen this odd development mentioned elsewhere. It is carried in holdthefrontpage – to me it sounds like some kind of prank (in poor taste if it is – given people losing their jobs currently) – but apparently adverts are appearing: see below:

    Mystery surrounds a plan to recruit hundreds of journalists for a new venture which says it aims to become “Scotland’s largest multimedia platform.”
    A series of job advertisements have started to appear online for Scottish News, which describes itself as an “exciting dynamic new media brand”.
    The adverts state that Scottish News is looking for a chief editor and 300 multimedia journalists to cover every area of Scotland, while the company also wants to recruit 300 full-time and 200 part-time social media content writers and bloggers.
    However the National Union of Journalists has expressed scepticism about the venture, saying the plan to recruit 800 journalists “raises suspicions.”
    Dominic Bascombe, organiser of NUJ Scotland, commented: “The NUJ welcomes genuine investment into Scottish journalism. Where there is opportunity for development and growth of new media opportunities we would welcome this.
    “However we do share some of the concerns that have been raised over the recently advertised jobs for Scottish News.
    “A venture claiming to want over 800 journalists in Scotland raises suspicions. This is a number of jobs far above and beyond even the biggest media players in Scotland and indeed across the UK.
    “We would urge anyone considering joining such an unknown venture to ensure that they do proper due diligence in their employment search. The NUJ regularly advises members and students about employment opportunities.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 January 27, 2018 / 9:50 am

      Even if it becomes a reality, we’re probably talking about them all being ‘self-employed’ with no guaranteed hours and no rights?


  4. Scottish remain voter January 26, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    The better ratio of police in Scotland is of course able to be funded mainly because Scotland is funded to the tune of over £1500 per person more than in England because of the Barnett formula – funded by English (mainly London and southern ) taxpayers.


    • johnrobertson834 January 27, 2018 / 9:54 am

      1. Could it just be different decision making on priorities? Spending on more on staff and less on private companies on where they have friends on the board and expect a future there after politics?
      2. Is the Barnett formula justified by Scotland’s long-term trade surplus compared with London’s massive deficit and the consequent equally massive debts incurred there?


    • bigjon999 January 27, 2018 / 9:59 am

      Ok, I’ll make you a suggestion, stop paying the Barnett formula and let Scotland decide everything and pay everything itself (its called independence). This should sort out your little petty grievance.

      Liked by 1 person

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