More about this area
The force says...
At 477 square miles and with 664,600 people, Bedfordshire is one of England’s smallest yet most diverse counties. Around one quarter of residents are from minority ethnic backgrounds. Few towns outside London host greater ethnic diversity than Luton and Bedford. These contrast with market towns and rural parishes. Bedfordshire’s population grew by over 11% since 2001.
London Luton Airport (the UK’s fifth busiest) handled nearly 17 million passengers in 2018. The M1 and A1(M) motorways traverse the county. Two principal railway lines connect people with the heart of London in less than an hour.
Bedfordshire has a complex mix of volume crime, serious crimes, drugs, gangs and terrorism threats. Every day police officers meet threats, harm and risks like those in large cities, but also balance the needs and differing crime demographic of a large rural community. In the year to October 2021 the force recorded nearly 49,000 crimes (down 6.1%) and answered over 315,000 calls for service (down 18%).
Bedfordshire Police’s community response and investigation teams serve the unitary authorities of Luton, Bedford and Central Bedfordshire from two operational hubs. Strategic leadership of regional intelligence and investigation helps the force meet risks linked to extremism and organised crime. Large scale recruitment of police officers and PCSOs has continued and this has boosted the force’s community and response teams. The force has continued to build capability to manage the complex and increasing demands for safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, child exploitation, missing people, domestic abuse, cybercrime and effectively managing offenders. The force has received national recognition for its recruitment of police officers from minority ethnic groups.
The force use of community scrutiny panels continues to grow to ensure transparency and increase public confidence, working together to understand disparity in use of force and stop and search.
Bedfordshire continues to address its challenges including the policing of the pandemic through radical internal change, service-leading collaborations with neighbouring and regional police forces and joint working with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and other local partners.
Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Bedfordshire Police. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.