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The force says...

The force polices 1,844 square miles of moorland, farmland, coastline, holiday resorts, market towns and cities including Bath and Bristol. It is intersected by the M4 and M5, major rail routes to Wales and the South West, and home to Bristol International Airport and Bristol Port, Britain’s most centrally-located deep sea port. Glastonbury Festival, Europe’s largest music festival, and Badminton Horse Trials are two of the force’s most significant events.

A diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.65 million, swelled by large student and tourist populations, brings policing challenges, with pockets of substantial wealth contrasting deprived localities and communities. Ensuring equal access to policing for all and achieving a diverse and representative workforce are priorities for the force.

Demand grows ever more complex. In the year to February 2018 the constabulary has seen a 3.8 percent increase in recorded crime – the equivalent of 5,000+ crimes. This increase shows a slowing from previous years’ larger increases in recorded crime, which was directly linked to better recording processes. However, key increases remain for sexual offences (+19 percent) domestic abuse crimes (+9 percent) and missing persons (+20 percent).

A diverse mix of drug crime, organised crime groups and cross-border criminality alongside rural crime present additional policing challenges.

Ground-breaking work on predictive analytics and digital technology is allowing the constabulary to take a fresh approach in prioritising and deploying resources, based on risk, threat and harm to victims and the wider community. It collaborates extensively with partners and other forces across the south west and is the lead force for CTIU.

At the beginning of 2018 the total number of police officers and staff stood at 5,204,  including 314 PCSOs. However, it should be noted that since 1 April 2010, police officer numbers (FTE) have dropped by more than 500 to 2,611. The constabulary’s revenue budget for 2018/19 is £284.5m; with a reduction in funding of £63m since 2010.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Avon and Somerset Constabulary. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.