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The surprisingly low number of officers to people in Kent

The thin blue line – all that stands between us, and complete anarchy.

It’s a monumental task, and with police numbers at a record low, it is one which is only getting harder and harder.

But how many police officers does it take to uphold the peace in Kent? Surprisingly few.

The county only has one full-time equivalent officer for every 578 people, according to the most recent figures.

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The numbers show that Kent has 3,328 officers available to police the estimated 1,832,252 population of the county.

And this is fewer officers than the national average of one officer to every 470 people.

Deputy Chief Constable for Kent Tony Blaker said: “Kent Police will be recruiting an additional 180 officers as a result of the 2019/20 council tax precept increase and this is in addition to the extra 200 officers recruited this financial year.

We are confident we have sufficient numbers and planned recruitment to tackle crime

“Since 2010, Kent Police has had to save over £90million and further savings are underway. But sound financial planning in previous years means the additional funds from an increase in the council tax precept translate into frontline policing and not covering costs.

“While most forces would certainly welcome having more officers and staff at their disposal, in Kent we are confident we have sufficient numbers and planned recruitment to tackle crime and protect the most vulnerable members of the community.

How does Kent compare to other counties?

Despite the low number of officers, Kent ranks as having the 19th best ratio of police officers to people for counties in England & Wales.

Wiltshire Police has the fewest number of officers per person in England and Wales, with 702 people per single officer.

Staffordshire Police have the second fewest officers per person, with one officer per 696 people and Warwickshire Police has the third fewest with 688 people per officer.

At the other end of the table, City of London Police have a whopping one officer for every 11 people.

This is because the City of London – which is essentially a tiny borough of London – only has a population of just under 7,700 people.

The Met – which polices the rest of London – has the second highest number of officers per person, with 284 people to every officer.

And Merseyside has the third highest, with one officer for every 406 people.