In 2019, the UK Home Office announced a national campaign to hire 20,000 new police officers.
This report reflects on the state of crime and policing in the United Kingdom, and argues that such a recruitment drive will do little to tackle Britain’s real crime problems. Specifically, it will do almost nothing to address the fact that, per ONS figures, the majority of crimes in England and Wales are not reported to the police, and only 7% of the crimes that the police record result in a charge or summons.
The report proposes a new approach, one which focuses on prevention, in order to reduce crime to levels current police numbers can reasonably deal with. This includes a new, local authority-based crime prevention service to help identify and deter criminal behaviour.