Police chiefs warn murder rates will rise unless more officers put on streets

Police chiefs warn murder rates will rise unless more officers put on streets

Police numbers have been cut so badly that a third of Brits have not seen a bobby on the beat in a year.

The survey, released yesterday, comes after more than 21,000 frontline roles were slashed during eight years of Tory austerity.

It has led chiefs to warn that murders will rise unless the Government gives them the funding to put officers on the streets.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson told the Mirror: “Unless police funding increases in real terms, crime will continue to rise. Violent crime and murders have, in particular, dramatically increased.

“The Government needs to change course. If they don’t those tragedies will become more and more regular.”

Mr Jamieson said West Midlands Police’s budget had dropped by £175million since 2010, leading to the loss of more than 2,000 officers.

Since 2010 the number of officers in England and Wales has fallen by 15% – yet the population went up by 3.5 million.

Wiltshire Police is worst affected with just 13.9 officers for every 10,000 residents, official figures show.

Other mainly rural forces – ­Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Hampshire and Lincolnshire – fare nearly as badly with a mere 14 officers per 10,000 residents.

Yesterday the results of a survey of more than 17,000 people were released by the HM ­Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

A third of Britons had not spotted a bobby on the beat in a year, while 20% had not seen a patrol car and 35% were unsatisfied with the local frequency of patrol cars.

John Apter, head of the Police ­Federation of England and Wales, said the findings were not surprising as “neighbourhood and response teams have been cut back to the bone”.

He added: “We need an immediate and significant, centrally funded investment from the Government.”

Police get roughly 75% of funding from the Government, with the rest raised from council tax.

The precept for Essex Police went up by an average £12 in 2018-19 to recruit 150 officers.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently announced nearly £1billion of additional funding for police forces.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: “This will enable police to recruit more officers, better respond to reports of crime and tackle serious crime.”

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