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written by The Justice of the Peace on the 05th December 2017 at 12:05

On 25th July 2013, shortly before my previous host site was taken down, I commented on the numbers of serving police officers in England and Wales and the ratios of how the various ranks were proportioned.

4.86 constables/sergeant
3.26 sergeants/inspector
3.49 inspectors/chief inspector
2.2 chief inspectors/superintendent
2.24 superintendents/chief superintendent
1.82 chief superintendents/ACPO rank

On 8th August 2015 I posted as follows:-

Although I am cautious when reading of a latest form of crime statistics which appears to indicate that the trend is up, down or sideways there is more than a little fascination in the structure of those in blue employed (in reducing numbers) to keep the peace. According to current figures there are:-

1.68 chief superintendents for every ACPO ranked officer

9 inspectors and chief inspectors for every superintendent

3.3 sergeants for every inspector

5.2 constables for every sergeant

Figures for 2013 were:- 

4.86 constables for every sergeant

3.26 sergeants for every inspector

3.49 inspectors for every chief inspector

2.2 chief inspectors for every superintendent

2.24 superintendents for every chief superintendent

1.82 chief superintendents for every ACPO rank

I have no knowledge of the internal workings or management of large organisations but it does seem that the police are top heavy at the higher ranks of chief inspector and above. The army also seems to be similarly afflicted with around 200 brigadiers and  generals  for a force of around 100,000 reducing. 

Perhaps this is a historical anomaly and recruitment and promotion are trapped in a time warp? 

I followed those figures up on  22nd July 2016:-

Current figures are for 2015:-

Thus the ratio of ranks is now:-

5.17 constables/sergeant
3.36 sergeants/inspector
3.44 inspectors/chief inspector
2.02 chief inspectors/superintendent
2.43 superintendents/chief superintendent
1.68 chief superintendents/ACPO rank

Are there too many chiefs and too few indians? The numbers above indicate a constable:ACPO rank of 493.78. Perhaps somebody more knowledgeable than I can comment on the significance of these numbers?

Latest figures and ratios are:-

5.11 constables/sergeant
3.40 sergeants/inspector
3.43 inspectors/chief inspector
1.80 chief inspectors/superintendent
2.76 superintendents/chief superintendent
1.55 chief superintendents/chief officer

The current ration of constables to police chiefs is now 458.56/1.   I have no idea of the optimum staffing ratios for an organisation like the police.  But I do know that with various constabularies rationing their investigative procedures public interest in these numbers is bound to become more critical.

 Originally posted at

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