Police officers in Staffordshire are facing an ever-increasing workload as crime rises while officer numbers fall, figures show.

According to the latest data, there were a total of 90,207 crimes of all types in Staffordshire which, if spread across a 2023 headcount of 1,980, works out at 46 crimes per officer. 

This compares with figures from 2010 which show the Force recorded 71,070 offences, or 33 crimes for each of the 2,161 officers in Staffordshire at the time.

Staffordshire Police Federation chair Lee Robinson said the increasing demands were impacting on the health and wellbeing of members and called for urgent steps to be taken to help ease the pressure on officers.

Lee said: “Officers are carrying a higher workload than ever before, certainly higher than I have known in my 21 years with the Force, and it is affecting  wellbeing and morale. 

“In some areas around the Force, officers are carrying a level of workload that is simply unmanageable even to the most experienced of detectives.”

Staffordshire Police is one of 11 forces across England and Wales that have not seen officer numbers return to pre-austerity levels.

Home Office figures show the Force has 181 fewer officers than it did in 2010 despite reaching its recent Police Uplift Programme target. 

“This is a significant reduction for such a small force and the lack of Government investment in policing will be felt for decades,” said Lee.

“We lost a lot of experience post-2010 when recruitment stopped and Regulation A19 was used to exit experienced officers of 30 years plus. 

“This experience cannot be replaced easily. While I absolutely welcome the recent uplift programme, it doesn’t go far enough and certainly doesn’t bring in experience. 

“Our new student officers have a challenging career ahead of them and it takes a long time to build up experience in such a complex and challenging career.”

Lee called for measures to reduce pressure on officers to be urgently introduced and said a full review of the process for charging decisions was long overdue and needed addressing straight away.

“Demands placed on officers by other agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service before charging decisions can be made need to be looked at,” he said.

“The lengthy and detailed action plans requiring full trial-ready files to be prepared before a charge decision can even be considered is one of the reasons officer workload is so high.”

He also pointed out that crime had become more complex than ever before with investigations taking much longer.

He said: “Most crimes today have some sort of digital footprint and require specialist support to progress in one form or another, whether this is CCTV,  mobile phones or computers, the data that has to be collated and analysed is massive. 

“Again this places additional demands on the time of our officers.”