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In recent years, the service has sought to better evidence the scale and complexity of crime and non-crime incidents. However, translating volume into workload requires in depth analysis of how a force operates in practice and an understanding of how factors such as vulnerability can affect the time it takes to investigate different crime types and resolve mental health and other welfare situations. 

Through our research and consultancy work with a number of UK police forces, Crest has a developed a robust methodology which allows us to explore, understand and then forecast police demand. These insights have helped Police and Crime Commissioners argue for fairer funding and have helped Chief Constables to make strategic decisions on investment, workforce planning and prioritisation.

There is now a consensus that the public needs more police officers. But our findings suggest the changing nature of crime means providing an effective and efficient service to the public depends on much more than officer numbers. PCCs and Chief Constables will need to adapt and change their workforces by recruiting the right skills to the right roles to match the demand profile of their communities.

We are committed to giving the police the robust, reliable and accessible understanding they need of the challenges and workload their forces will face in the future. 

"Previously, we relied on our professional judgement alone - Crest's demand forecasting means we have got a full and rounded understanding of the potential threat and risk for us into the future, we have now got real evidence. It's informed our workforce planning and it's informed our investment plans. We have a much richer picture than we had before."

Chief Constable Garry Forsyth, Bedfordshire Constabulary

Our demand tool has allowed us to predict demand on the police nationally over the next four years and estimate the number of additional officers required and what types of incidents will drive workload.



We estimate that 32,000 additional officers are needed across England and Wales by 2023 at a cost of £2.3bn over 2 years

Between 2014 and 2023 we estimate that the proportionate contribution of violent and sexual offences to total demand will increase from 32% to 57%

Latest insights

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Case studies

Modelling demand on Nottinghamshire Police

Contact us

To find out more about Crest's work on police demand, email

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