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Met chief warns that cuts could risk public safety

Bernard Hogan HoweProposed cuts to the police budget will endanger public safety – the country’s most senior officer has said – and a force restructure is the only way to save money.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Commissioner at the Met, (pictured) called on the Government to push through radical structural reforms to cut back office costs this month.

Police officers of all ranks around the country have warned that the quality of service the police can provide is being threatened by wide scale public sector cuts.

And now Sir Bernard has called for “radical action” to save policing.

He said: “There’s a bigger risk to public safety if we don’t take radical action. We’ve saved hundreds of millions already, but from 2016 onwards it will be much harder.”

Sir Bernard warned about the potential effects of forthcoming cuts, with forces preparing to be told this week of even more to come.

He said he expects further reductions in budgets whoever wins the 2015 general election and  argues for reforms including mergers of individual forces, which would rip up the historical landscape of policing, to lessen the potential damage.

In a move that clashes with Conservative party policy, he called for the culling of more than 30 forces in England and Wales, to create nine super-forces, based on the regional boundaries.

And he warned that criminals are moving away from traditional “shotgun” robberies of the past to more sophisticated offences involving data and cybercrime, and says that police need to “catch up”.

Date posted: December 19, 2014

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