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The Changing Face of the Police Service

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Last updated on September 20th, 2023 at 03:04 pm

Reading Time: 4 minutes

We all know it.  The Police Service is changing.  I won’t bore you by repeating the various crises that Policing faces, but what do these changes LOOK LIKE?  I thought I might highlight a few areas that some Academics may not choose to, so I got my crayons out again.


Over many years, even before Cruella’s Crusade began, the Police Forces of England and Wales were tackling the issue of diversity within their ranks, and, long term, this is how they have done.

The Changing Face of the Police Service

The graph goes relentlessly upwards, showing, I feel, that the Police Service ARE trying to improve their BAME representation.  However, I am far from confident that the soon-to-be-implimented policy of recruitment being either 100% Graduate or Degree Apprenticeship will improve this.  Universities are already declaring that BAME students are falling short of appropriate representation and I do not see how this can help a 100% Degree recruitment process to increase BAME ratios within the service.

So, where are all these BAME officers?

The Changing Face of the Police Service

Quite clear don’t you think?  I for one will not be taking any lectures from NPCC or Cruella about BAME representation within the Police Service until the National Police Chiefs Council sort their act out.  But enough of percentages for a moment, they can get confusing.  What does this table look like in numbers?

The Changing Face of the Police Service

Well, that doesn’t look very good does it?


How has the ratio of Male to Female Officers fared over the years?

The Changing Face of the Police Service

Slow, but sure I think has to be the answer, going in the right direction but slowly.


I was interested in how the reducing size of the Police Service was reflected compared to the population.  The counter that the Home Office favours is the number of Constables per 100,000 head of population, so here it is.

The Changing Face of the Police Service

Well, I’m no expert but that does not look healthy to me.

I wanted to look at how Experience and Length of Service had shifted over the last few years but the Home Office have only been publishing that data for the last 3 years.

The Changing Face of the Police Service

It seems quite clear to me that for the last 3 years the majority of our cops are in the 10-15 years bracket, but all of them have reduced alarmingly, demonsrating, does it not, that we are haemhorraging experience.


The Changing Face of the Police Service

Whilst it isn’t exacftly the same, I found that the Home Office had been publishing data on officers’ age brackets, so here it is

The Changing Face of the Police Service

To me, this shows quite categorically that the majority of our officers are in the 26-40 bracket, but that group is shrinking more than any other, and, worryingly, the next group (41-56) is not getting bigger as officers grow older.  So where are they going?  Out must be the answer surely.  Yet more evidence of the Crisis in Policing brought about by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, and continuing still.

Finally, just for shits and giggles, here’s a reminder of how the Police Service shapes up now compared to 1979.

The Changing Face of the Police Service

No doubt there are ‘Academics’ out there who will criticise what I have done here, but every single number quoted above comes from an ‘offical’ Home Office statistic somewhere.  All dates quoted related to 31st March of the relevant year.  Policing definitely looks like it’s in crisis to me.

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3 thoughts on “The Changing Face of the Police Service”

  1. I wonder if anyone has factored in the amount of extra officers it takes to cover female officers. This is a practical question nothing else. There will be a percentage of female officers who will take maternity leave and a further percentage who will come back on part time. This will put a considerable strain on resources. Therefore a calculation/graph should be produced to account for the extra hours and workload this places on other colleagues both male and female. If there is a shift of 10 with a 50/50 make up then to counter the extra work the shift should have maybe 12

  2. Alot of time and effort was put into this by yourself Al, thanks for doing so. It clearly demonstrates what we all know, but the ‘electorate’ should be made aware of THIS too. You’ve simplified the present situation in policing very well. ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ type analytics and worthless soundbites from The Home Office and The ‘Continuity ACPO Ltd’ crowd ( AKA Police Chiefs Council ) should be held to account. Good work . Well done.

    1. I’m obliged sir. Indeed, the General Public are being bamboozled by psychobabble and smoke & mirrors. All they need is the truth simply explained

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