HC Deb 26 January 1978 vol 942 cc679-80W
Mr. David Howell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what international comparisons he has made of the size of national police forces in deciding current establishment figures for the United Kingdom; and whether he will provide a list, in order of numbers of people per civil law enforcement officer, covering the following countries: (a) France, (b) West Germany, (c) Italy, (d) Japan, (e) the United Kingdom, (j) Belgium, (g) Holland, (h) Canada, (i) Australia, and (j) the United States of America.

Dr. Summerskill

In considering applications from police authorities in England and Wales for changes in the authorised establishment of their police forces we have made no comparisons with the police forces in other countries. Differences in organisation, methods, duties and the conditions under which the police operate would render such comparisons of little value. For similar reasons, ratios of police to population are not strictly comparable.

Available information on Western European countries is as follows:

Country Police-Population Ratio Notes
England and Wales. 1:420 Based on establishment.
France 1:500 National Police only.
West Germany 1:435
Italy 1:370
Belgium 1:526 National Police only.
Holland 1:424 Based on establishment.