Garry Graham, Prospect deputy general secretary, said:
“It is welcome that the government is reversing some of the cuts to policing, but increasing police officer numbers will have limited impact unless it is matched by a corresponding increase in funding for support staff and technology.
“Police staff and services like police forensics, which are also vital to fighting crime, have also been hugely cut back or privatised in many areas over the past decade.
“Recent reports from both the forensic science regulator and the Lords science and technology committee have warned that forensic science desperately needs more resources.
“With conviction rates slumped to a historic low simply ‘more bobbies on the beat’ will not address this issue alone. High quality forensics and investing in the legal and judicial process is what secures convictions. We need a thought-through and considered approach, not simply soundbites.”
- Research by the independent House of Commons library published in October 2018 reported that police support staff (excluding PCSOs, designated officers and traffic wardens) in England and Wales has been cut by 21% 2010-2018, compared to a cut in police officers of 15%. See: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN00634
- House of Lords, Science and Technology Select Committee, Forensic science and the criminal justice system, 1 May 2019: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldsctech/333/33302.htm
- Forensic Science Regulator annual report 2018, published 15 March 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/forensic-science-regulator-annual-report-2018