Written Question on Counter-terrorism: Police

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.

See more on: "Counter-terrorism: Police"
Date Title Questioner
24 Jul 2017, 12:23 p.m. Counter-terrorism: Police Nick Thomas-Symonds


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers were assigned to counter-terrorism duties in (a) 2011 and (b) 2016.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The Home Office collects and publishes police workforce data annually on the number of officers primarily employed in Counter Terrorism/Special Branch roles as part of the Police workforce, England and Wales statistical bulletin. This can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-workforce-england-and-wales.

Data as at 31 March 2016 can be found in Table F4 of the police workforce statistics published in July 2016 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/544954/police-workforce-tabs-jul16.ods and record that 3,888 officers were designated as primarily involved in counter-terrorism or Special Branch.

This figure does not include all officers supporting counter-terrorism work and excludes many of those posts funded separately by the Counter-Terrorism Policing Grant and those in some national counter-terrorism functions. For reasons of national security, we do not publish the number or location of posts funded by the Counter-Terrorism Policing Grant. The published figures do not, therefore, reflect the total number of officers assigned to counter-terrorism policing.

Previous data were collected under a different framework, with different definitions. Therefore, data prior to 31 March 2015 are not directly comparable with later years. Although some functions may appear to be similar between the two frameworks, there are often differences in definitions, and so any attempts to compare across the two should be done with caution. Data under the old framework have been published since 2012, and can be found in the supplementary data tables of the relevant police workforce publications via the following link:


Any comparisons at force level should be made with care due to collaboration arrangements between forces for particular functions. Additionally, police functions data are often affected by re-structuring within police forces. Therefore comparisons over time for specific functions should be made with care.

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