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Spending by the police has fallen considerably since 2009/10, and so has the number of police officers. Meanwhile, the nature of demand on the police is changing, with the service reportedly responding to more ‘non-crime’ work such as dealing with people in a mental health crisis.

Inspections of forces suggest that the quality of the service has been maintained, but a number of warning signs have emerged in recent years, such as the decline in offences resulting in charges. Public concern with crime and ‘victim dissatisfaction’ are rising.