Some MPs need to spend more time learning locally

At the end of last week one of the MPs for West Sussex set out this very strange question which he was directing to the Government Home Department. It is always vital for MPs to spend time with their local agencies and then they can potentially call for improved supplies for their local settings from the Government. However if they call on the Government to explain what is happening locally when they have not spent sufficient time understanding what happens locally it will then be more difficult for them to challenge the Government for more provision. This question came from Tim Loughton who is the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham and his focus was on the way in which Sussex Police is operating which is not something that one would normally focus on the Home Department. His question was.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many (a) FTE police officers and (b) PCSOs have been deployed in each local authority area in Sussex in each of the last 5 years.

Clearly if he appreciates that there were not sufficient Police Officers over the last 5 years, he should understand that the total number was impacted by the supply from the Government of Police Officers for the whole of Sussex and indeed for all of the Police forces in the UK. However this question is not in any way related to that. The response from Chris Philp who is in the Home Department included the final sentence which was “The deployment of officers across a police force area is a decision for operationally independent Chief Constables.” and clearly that indicates that MPs should spend liaising with their Chief Constables. That would then enable them to call for changes if that is necessary but also to obtain responses to challenge the Government on behalf of the Police Force. So here is the full response from Chris Philp

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the size of the police workforce in England and Wales on a biannual basis in the ‘Police workforce, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, available here: Police workforce England and Wales statistics – GOV.UK ( These data are collected by Police Force Area only and information at lower levels of geography, such as local authority are not held by the Home Office.

Data on the number of police officers and PCSOs in Sussex Police, on both a full-time equivalent (FTE) and a headcount basis are available in the Open Data Table that accompanies the release:

The deployment of officers across a police force area is a decision for operationally independent Chief Constables.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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