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Devon and Cornwall Police 2021/22

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The force says...

Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is the largest policing geography in England, stretching over 4,000 square miles and includes six inhabited islands. It is amongst the country’s safest places to live, with the third lowest crime rate in the UK (ONS 2022).

The force geography is a mix of rural, urban and coastal areas, including three growing cities, numerous large towns and a significant military presence which includes HMNB Devonport – the largest naval base in Western Europe. As a peninsula, the force area is isolated from other police and support services, with 730 miles of coastline and limited public transport infrastructure. The area has the largest road network in England and Wales with over 80% of this being rural.

Since the 2011 census, the South West has experienced a population growth increase of 7.8%, well above the national increase of 6.3%. East Devon has increased by 13.8%, whilst Exeter has seen 11.1% and Teignbridge 8.5% growth.

The force area has significant pockets of high deprivation, and the elderly population is above the national average (24% aged 65 years or over, compared to the national average of 18%). Devon and Cornwall is also a national outlier in areas such as self-harm and mental health related hospital admissions for those under 18 – demonstrating the need to operate daily within a complex partnership landscape including three unitary local authorities, one top tier county council and eight district councils.

Devon and Cornwall welcome 45 million visitor nights per year, with significant associated demand surges as the population increases seasonally. In the 12 months to October 2022 the force dealt with just over a million calls for service and recorded over 100,000 crimes – an increase of 10.6% on the previous year and a 2.7% increase on the baseline year of 2019 (pre-COVID).

The force oversaw and coordinated the G7 World Leaders’ Summit and national deployment of almost 8,000 mutual aid officers from across the UK, in addition to various law enforcement agencies world-wide. The force delivered a successful event with overwhelmingly positive feedback in terms of local community engagement.

Devon and Cornwall Police is approaching the highest number of police officers in its history, with 2023 anticipated to reach 3,610 warranted officers.

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