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Fears over major police job cull as a result of cuts

Sir Hugh Orde by new round of public spending cuts will mean a loss of at least 34,000 police jobs within three years, the Association of Chief Police Officers has predicted.

Sir Hugh Orde, president of ACPO, (pictured) has warned that further 20 per cent cuts from the Home Office would inflict even more damage on frontline policing than has been seen since 2010.

ACPO estimates that 34,000 out of 205,000 police jobs, the equivalent of one in six, will disappear over the next three years.

Sir Hugh has warned of serious repercussions for the role of police in safeguarding society’s most vulnerable people.

ACPO’s predictions are based on a grant reduction recommendation by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

However, senior Home Office officials have reportedly revealed that the police should expect a deeper 25 per cent cut in government funding after the next general election.

Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “How substantial are these cuts going to be? What sort of police service is that going to leave us? How are we going to be able to deliver the level of policing we want the public to receive?

“The thin blue line is only getting thinner. We cannot keep cutting and cutting and expecting the same level of service.”

Mr Smart added: “What about our political leaders? What are they telling the public about what is going to happen? At the moment all we are saying is that there are going to be cuts, but no one has told the public what they are going to stop receiving. What service are they going to lose?”

The number of police officers has already fallen by 16,000, from 141,600 in 2010 to 125,400 in March this year.

The service is expected to have lost a total of 34,000 officers and staff by March next year – with the same number of job losses predicted for the next round of cuts.

Sir Hugh told Jack Dromey, Labour’s policing spokesman, that the 34,000 job losses predicted would rise “exponentially” if the cut imposed was to increase.

“The impact, however, in our view would be far greater on the frontline, which up to now forces have been trying to protect,” he said. “A greater number of officer posts would be involved and this could potentially have serious implications for statutory responsibilities and the safeguarding of the most vulnerable.”

Home Secretary Theresa May has said that the integration of police, fire and ambulance emergency services and the widespread use of body-worn cameras and smartphone apps by police officers would be needed to save time and money.

Mr Dromey said the cuts would mark the biggest made to any police service in Europe. A generation of progress in cutting crime is being reversed, with response times to 999 calls now 30 per cent longer, he said.

“Such savage cuts come at the worst possible time just when the demands on our police service mount by the day, from tackling child sex exploitation, through combating soaring fraud and online crime to the threats to our national security,” said Mr Dromey.

Date posted: December 19, 2014

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