Fewer emergency service workers serving Hartlepool than a decade ago

Fewer emergency workers are keeping people safe across the Cleveland area than a decade ago, figures suggest.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th November 2021, 4:37 pm

Home Office and NHS Digital figures show the equivalent of 2,431 full-time emergency workers – police, fire and ambulance staff – were employed in the region this year – nine per cent fewer than in 2011.

Among them were the 1,238 frontline police officers as of March 31 – 13% fewer than at the same point in 2011.

Cleveland Fire Brigade had the equivalent of 393 full-time firefighters responding to emergencies as of the end of March – 151 fewer than in 2011.

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Emergency services cuts

It was a different story for the North East Ambulance Service, which saw its staff numbers increase by 17% from 686 in September 2011 to 800 as of July this year.

But its staff have seen their workloads increase dramatically because of the effects the coronavirus pandemic is having on the NHS.

The Police Federation said the Government's promise of 20,000 new police officers by the end of 2023 does not go far enough.

The Fire Brigades Union said anyone working in the public sector frontline would agree that "austerity is not over".

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “For fire and rescue, every pound cut from our budget means a greater likelihood of smaller crew numbers, fire stations shutting, and the loss of resources such as fire engines.

“In turn this all means longer response times to incidents, and a greater risk to lives, property, heritage and the environment.”

The Government said it had "consistently" given emergency services the resources they need to keep people safe.