§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The deployment of police officers is a matter for chief officers of police but the increases in police establishments approved since May 1979 will have assisted them in allocating more officers to operational duties. My right hon. Friend announced on 30 January his approval of further increases in provincial force establishments amounting to over 800 extra police posts. The great bulk of these posts will be deployed by chief constables on patrol duties. At the end of 1988, 52,906 officers (of all ranks) were estimated to be deployed on patrol duties—this was 55.8 per cent. of strength. That is an increase of 0.8 per cent. on the previous year, which in turn had shown a gain of 2.9 per cent. over the year before. Information on the Metropolitan police is collected on a different basis. This shows that in 1988 some 1,600,000 man days were spent on street duty, an increase of 9 per cent. on 1987.