Police Force numbers dropping!

United Kingdom

Total police service strength across the United Kingdom increased year on year between 2003 and 2010. In 2003 there were 155,000 officers and just over 171,600 in 2010. Since 2010 the number of police officers has fallen each year. At 31 March 2016 there were a total of 151,000 police officers operating in the United Kingdom. This was a reduction of 2.5% compared to 2003 and a decrease of 11.7% from 2010.

England & Wales

At 31 March 2016 total strength of the 43 police forces in England & Wales reached just over 124,000 FTE officers. This is the lowest number of police officers recorded under the current strength measure. This is a reduction of 14% between 2010 and 2016.


Between 1985 and 2015 the number of Scottish police officers has seen an almost continous increase year on year. At 31 March 2016 total strength of Scottish police officers was just over 17,000 - 31% higher than in 1985.

Northern Ireland

As of 31 January 2016 the number of police officers in Northern Ireland stood at just under 7,000. This represents a decrease of 6.6% on the number in 2010.