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Number of police officers in the UK 2020 by police force

London's Metropolitan Police is by far the largest police force in the United Kingdom with over 32.9 thousand officers in 2020. With approximately 17.43 thousand officers, the Scottish police has the second largest force in terms of officer numbers, followed by Northern Ireland at 6.9 thousand. Greater Manchester police force, had just under 7 thousand officers was the fourth largest police force in this year.

 Crime in the UK

  In 2019/20 there approximately 6.43 million crimes recorded by the police in the United Kingdom, the most crimes recorded in a reporting year since 2003/04 when there were 6.56 million. In the intervening years, crime fell to a low of just 4.4 million annual offences in 2013/14, before increasing substantially between 2013/14 and 2019/20. For the United Kingdom, this translated as a crime rate of 96.4 offences per one thousand people.

Falling officer numbers

  Between 2010 and 2020 the number of police officers in England and Wales fell by approximately 15 thousand. During this same period, the London Metropolitan Police saw officer numbers increase from over 31 thousand, to around 32.9 thousand. The fall in officer numbers is undoubtedly a result of UK-wide funding increases, with police expenditure rising from 16.37 billion in 2016/17 to 18.54 billion by 2019/20.

Number of police officers in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2020 by police force

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Release date

September 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

March 31, 2020

Supplementary notes

* Metropolitan and City of London police combined.

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Statistics on "The police service in the United Kingdom"

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