Fears of cuts in police officer numbers
THERE are likely to be fewer police officers on the streets of Suffolk in four years time, according to the county’s police federation.
Nationally constabularies are facing funding cuts of four per cent a year over the next four years following yesterday’s spending review.
Matt Gould, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation, said Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, had previously warned that if budgets were slashed by more than 12 per cent it would affect frontline services.
Speaking after yesterday’s announcement by Chancellor George Osborne, Mr Gould said: “We are disappointed that they [the government] could not have reduced the saving requirements on us. Anything above 12 per cent equated to a reduction in numbers of officers. Those savings could not be made other than by attacking frontline services.”
Suffolk Constabulary once again acknowledged it faced tough times ahead.
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Chief Constable Simon Ash said: “We know that we are facing an unprecedented financial situation which will see millions of pounds cut from the policing budget.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge, particularly as we are already an extremely efficient force with one of the lowest costs per head of population. However, it’s a challenge we are ready to face and we have already made progress in addressing the funding gap.
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“The Chancellor has indicated that the police service will have a four per cent cut to its funding each year for the next four years. However, the exact implications for Suffolk will not be known until we receive our detailed budget allocation later next month or possibly December.
“The constabulary and police authority have already embarked on programmes designed to save money while ensuring that local people continue to receive a high-quality policing service.
“We will continue to provide the best possible service to the public with the financial resources available to us.”