Yorkshire police force ‘has most bobbies on the beat’

WEST Yorkshire Police has more bobbies on the beat than any other force in England and Wales, new research has found.

More than 16 per cent of its police officers and police community support officers are “visible and available”, according to a report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Nationally less than 12 per cent of officers’ time is spent on the frontline, the pressure group’s analysis of figures from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It means each bobby on the beat costs the taxpayer nearly £800,000 a year, based on the total £13.2m police budget for England and Wales, which supports 149,000 police officers and PCSOs, the group claims.

Chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: “Many police forces can do more to use their resources efficiently and get more officers out on the front line fighting crime.

“Of course the police have some important work to do that will sometimes legitimately stop them being available for visible policing, but the large differences between forces suggests some are giving taxpayers much better value for money.

“At a time of necessary restraint in public spending, police chiefs must ensure budgets are spent effectively and minimise any unnecessary red tape that gets in the way of frontline policing.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

West Yorkshire Police also had among the lowest costs per visible and available officer, with 19.2 per £10m spent on policing.

In North Yorkshire there were 15 per £10m, while in South Yorkshire there were 13.3 and 12.9 in Humberside. The proportion of frontline officers was found to be 13.6 per cent in North Yorkshire, 11.9 per cent in South Yorkshire and 11.4 per cent in Humberside.

The City of London and Metropolitan Police had among the lowest shares of visible and available officers, at 7.2 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively.

But the report notes that the forces’ responsibilities for financial crime and anti-terrorism reduce the overall amount of time officers are able to spend on the frontline.