London now below “doomsday scenario” number of police officers

9th January, 2013 11:55 am

The following exchange took place at the Home Affairs Select Committee in September 2012:

Mark Reckless: What is the lowest numbers of officers you expect there to be in 2015?

Stephen Greenhalgh: The worst case, the doomsday scenario is at or around 31,000.

According to the latest figures (for November, just two months after Greenhalgh’s appearance at the Commons) the number of police officers in London is 30,939.

In May 2010 there were 33,147 (a difference of 2,208).

Boris Johnson pledged an extra 2,000 police officers at the last Mayoral electionanother broken promise.

  • Winston_from_the_Ministry

    Hmmm, not quite as simple as you make out here Mark. As factcheck showed:

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      As you say. Overall numbers are also not necessarily a particularly useful statistic, because it does not reveal what the police are actually doing. 90 policemen doing things that are 100% in accordance with agreed priorities are of greater utility than 100 policemen doing things only 60% in support of agreed priorities. The same arguments can be made for doctors, nurses, teachers, etc.

      It is surprising how many clinically trained staff in the NHS are employed doing any number of strange things that do not involve actually dealing with patients, but merely require some (normally fairly low) level of medical expertise. Operating the disease classification and recording databases, for example. The main skill in this is knowing medical taxonomy (ie how to classify, sub-classify, sub-sub classify, etc medical conditions. It is in effect the skills need from a Librarian).

      The dirty secret is that while currently only doctors are taught medical taxonomy as part of their training, you could teach it as a discrete topic to non-medically qualified people, in less than 6 months*****. And it would be a lot cheaper to do so than to spend £350-500,000 on training someone to be a doctor to then do a technician’s job. But, there would be “less” doctors employed in the NHS as a result, and political horror at this apparent lessening of capability.

      Alternatively, full time employed on medical research that is in many cases well behind the research done in proper researching institutions and academia (the NHS has not pioneered much new in medicine for many years). If you speak with one of these colleagues who does this work, often you will find that it is a little “sinecure” that they have found and choose to work in, for whatever their personal reasons, and very few people will challenge it or ask the question “the country spent a lot of money training you, so what output do we get back?”

      (And no one should open the “can of worms” that is the number of part time GPs employed, all trained at 100% of the cost of training, but a significant number opting to work at 3/5ths of capacity and draw the still very large 3/5ths of a full time GPs salary. It is of course their choice, but it is hugely wasteful of the costs of training)

      ***** Biology and chemistry A levels would suffice.


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