‘Cuts will have a massive impact on police service’
8:50am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
CUTS to police will inevitably impact on the service officers can give, a union has warned.
The Bolton News revealed last week that 12 police posts will be lost in Bolton in the latest round of cuts to save money.
Greater Manchester Police needs to cut £134 million from its budget over the next four years, which will result in the axing of 3,000 posts, including 1,500 officers.
Supt Phil Davies said the Bolton division can manage the changes, but Ian Hanson from the Police Federation said it will result in less officers on the street.
Mr Hanson said officers are exhausted and working to capacity and further cuts will mean that things cannot be done as they used to be.
He said: “GMP is losing 1,500 officers, which will have a massive impact on the service.
“Every member of GMP will strive to give the best service, but taking 20 per cent out of the budget means that they cannot deliver the same service that they have done in the past.
“In order to keep the thin blue line in place, officers may have to start saying no to certain things. It means things will have to evolve to deliver a different kind of service.
“The days of GMP responding and being all things to all people have gone. Officers will have to prioritise.”
He added: “Police officers are frustrated, exhausted, and working to capacity to keep the wheel on. But I do have some sympathy with the chief constable — he can only work with what he is given.”
Police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd has expressed concern over news that police officer numbers in England and Wales have fallen to their lowest level in a decade.
The figures, published by the House of Commons Library, show there are now 134,584 police officers across the country — the fewest since 2003.
Mr Lloyd said described the cuts as “reckless”.
He said: “We’ve seen a massive reduction in crime over the past decade and police officer numbers have been key to that success.
“We all recognise the importance of driving efficiency within the police service, but the scale and speed of the reductions that have been imposed on forces is unprecedented.”