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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/police-officers-in-england-and-wales-during-1959-1970-1997-2003-and-2012/police-officers-in-england-and-wales-during-1959-1970-1997-2003-and-2012
FOI release 30077.
Total number of police officers in England and Wales.
|As at||Number of police officers|
|31 March 1959||71,692|
|31 March 1970||91,307|
|31 March 1997||125,051|
|31 March 2003||132,509|
|31 March 2012||134,100|
Figures for 1997, 2003 and 2012 are provided on a full-time equivalent basis and have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures for 2003 and 2012 include police officers on career breaks and maternity/paternity leave whilst the figure for 1997 excludes these officers.
Figures for 1959 and 1970 were obtained from Home Office monthly returns of strength and vacancies. These monthly returns do not state whether the figures are on a full-time equivalent basis or whether they include officers on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.