One in three bobbies on the beat ‘have been axed in just three years’ amid a surge in violent crime despite government pledges to protect frontline policing
- More than 7000 neighbourhood officers have left the force or been reassigned
- The number of police community support officers has also fallen by 18 per cent
- Villagers in Somerset hired a security firm to patrol at night due to lack of police
- Sussex has the fewest police on the beat per head of the population
A third of bobbies on the beat have been axed in three years amid a surge in violent crime- despite government promises to protect frontline policing.
More than 7000 neighbourhood police officers have left the force or been assigned to other duties since March 2015, according to The Sunday Times.
The number of police community support officers has also reportedly fallen by 18 per cent.
But officers assigned to administrative roles have multiplied by a quarter in three years- despite government pledges to protect frontline policing.
Former Scotland Yard commissioner Lord Stevens, pictured, said the investigation’s findings were ‘incredibly alarming’
Sussex is the police force with the fewest police on the beat per head of population, where just 8.3 neighbourhood officers patrol 100,000 people.
Villagers in Martock in Somerset have hired a security firm to patrol at night due to the lack of a police presence.
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And the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor estate is understood to be in talks to provide funding for Britain’s largest private police force.
Sussex is the police force with the fewest police on the beat per head of population in Sussex, where just 8.3 neighbourhood officers patrol 100,000 people. Pictured: Sussex HQ
Lord Stevens, the former Scotland Yard commissioner, said the findings were ‘incredibly alarming’.
He said: ‘If the increase in violent crime carries on escalating, you are going to get a very dangerous tipping point where there is no control, and it is a very difficult thing to bring back.
‘I don’t think we’ve reached that point yet and, God willing, we won’t,’ he added.
Villagers in Martock, Somerset (pictured), hired a private security firm to patrol at night due to a lack of police presence in the area
The Home Office said: ‘Decisions about frontline policing, and how resources are best deployed, are for chief constables and democratically accountable police and crime commissioners.’
In England and Wales murders leapt from 539 to 736 in the three years to March 2018 and violent deaths in London this year have now reached 100.
In terms of knife crime, police in England and Wales recorded 39,598 offences involving blades in the year ending December 2017, a 22% increase compared with the previous year.
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