England and Wales have lost over 45,000 police officers and staff since 2010, a 19% drop in the workforce. Meanwhile, violent crime is on the rise and forces are struggling to respond to demand due to budget cuts, recent reports from the Office for National Statistics and police watchdog HMIC have found.
But what does that mean for your community?
UNISON is the biggest union for police staff. They have investigated the drop within each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales.
The police workforce is made up of policing officers and police staff who work in teams to keep communities safe. Police staff make up 40% of the total police workforce and carry out both operational and supporting roles. Police staff include police community support officers (PCSOs), and designated officers (like crime scene examiners, investigators, escort and custody officers) who have police powers.
All these categories of police staff, as well as police officers, have suffered big cuts in numbers since 2010.