Cleveland Police has seen the sharpest drop in England in the number of officers under the age of 26.The figures, obtained by a Freedom of Information request, show the number of young officers working in England and Wales has fallen by almost half over the past few years.
In 2009-2010, there were 9,088 officers under the age of 26. That fell to 4,758 in 2011-2012.The largest decrease over the period was of 74% in the Cleveland force area.
A spokesman explained that its recruitment freeze would 'inevitably' impact on its share of officers in the lower age bracket.
In 2012, overall policing numbers hit their lowest in nine years, with around 10,000 fewer police officers than two years ago, following budget cuts which have slowed recruitment.