Government spending cuts continue to hit all corners of the public sector with 34,000 police jobs set to be axed over the next four years. 29/07/2011
One in eight officers and civilian support staff will lose their jobs and crime rates are set to rise as a result. Research published by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) last week showed that a 10% reduction in staff levels could lead to a 3% rise in crime rates.
In the past year alone, police forces have already fallen in England and Wales by 4,625 to 139,110.
In an effort to save £80million, more than 1,300 officers in Wales will have left the force by 2015. Surrey Police is the only force intending to increase numbers, adding 200 police constables by 2015.
Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Paul McKeever, said that with increasing demands and diminished resources, police would struggle to keep their heads above water.
‘This will fundamentally change the way we police our communities and an almost inevitable consequence will be a rise in crime rates as the population continues to increase and police numbers fall,’ he said.
City of London police will be worst hit, with cuts of up to 19% in its gross revenue expenditure by 2015.
Home Office minister, James Brokenshire, suggested that having large numbers of staff wasn’t the issue, rather utilising resources was the key.
‘The HMIC report shows the police can and are rising to the challenge by reducing costs from the back office while protecting frontline services. HMIC predicts that by March 2012 the proportion of the police workforce working in frontline roles will be higher than it was in March 2010,’ added James.
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