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The force says...

At just over one square mile, the City of London represents the smallest territorial force area in the country. However, its historical, cultural and national economic importance brings with it unique challenges. Unlike other forces, the City of London does not have a Police and Crime Commissioner, instead it is held to account by a Police Committee of democratically elected members of the Court of Common Council and two independent members.

The City’s small residential population of just over 9,000 swells each day to over 400,000 people, working predominantly in professional finance industries (insurance, legal, banking) and increasingly the service industries as a result of a vibrant night-time economy and an expanding number of shops, restaurants and bars.

The force balances national obligations (it leads on the country’s response to economic crime) with local concerns, resulting in a broad range of policing priorities, from counter terrorism and public order to road safety and tackling antisocial behaviour. As national lead force for economic crime, the force is home to Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Additionally, it maintains funded units dedicated to tackling insurance fraud and intellectual property crime.

Compared to 2010/11 the force has reduced its officer numbers by 14%, whilst increasing the number of officers on the front line by 2 percentage points. Whilst crime levels are low compared to other force areas, the threat from terrorism remains a challenge with reduced resources.

The force made required savings over the term of the comprehensive spending review of £13.1m, reflecting its reduced operating budget. Its ongoing budget challenge is to bridge a £20.2m funding gap over the medium term.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by City of London Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.

HMIC says...

City of London Police provides policing services specifically to the City of London. It has a number of national obligations that concern economic crime. The police force area covers just over one square miles in the heart of London. Its small resident population of 9,000 is affluent, as well as ethnically diverse, with 21 percent from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The population is dramatically increased to over 300,000 people who commute into the area to work, visit or socialise. Providing services across the entirety of the force area is helped by the size of the force and the good transport system, which includes major rail stations and public transport hubs.

England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.

There are 31 OAs in the City of London. These are relatively small, reflecting the wholly urban nature of the area.

The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.

HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. The City of London has a median house price of £2,884,979 which is much higher than the median of England and Wales (£254,549) and reflects the area’s affluence.

A concentration of predicted demands in a small number of OAs is a feature of every police force. We have designated these OAs (approximately 1,800 throughout England and Wales) as a very high challenge to police. These areas of very high challenge are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.
Within the City of London:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is higher than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is higher than the national level of one percent; and
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance is higher than the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of the City of London we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 31 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds, and indicate the size of the area and the quality of its road network.

The size of the City of London means the average travel distance is 0.6 miles and the average travel time is 2.4 minutes. These are considerably lower than the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes.