The Independent sub above makes the usual error of referring to ‘British’ before reporting on a survey of only England and Wales. The Guardian was more precise.
In the Guardian today, we read:
Police taking days to respond to 999 calls as budget cuts bite
Watchdog says fact that funding has fallen by a fifth since 2010 has put forces under stress
Almost a quarter of forces in England and Wales are struggling to deal with emergency calls in a timely way.
Britain’s police budgets to lose £700m by 2020, amid rising crime
Our Unionist media were unable to apply these concerns in a Scottish context despite their previous attempts to turn individual cases into a wider crisis for Police Scotland. There are good reasons for that. In Scotland, in the same period since 2010, police numbers 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.’
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 more presence on the streets.
Of course, staffing numbers are only part, though an important part, of the picture and the success in reducing, especially, crime of violence, north of the border will have multiple causes. See these for more:
Police Scotland, world experts on violence reduction, are now to advise The Met after helping the NYPD and Canada Police. Scotland’s media ignore the story in favour of anything negative they can find.