29/06/2010

Cuts To Hit Police, Warns Senior Officer

The number of police officers on the streets could fall as a result of the Government's budget cuts, a senior officer has warned.

President of the Association of Chief Police Officers Sir Hugh Orde told the organisation's annual conference it was "misleading in the extreme" to claim otherwise.

Sir Hugh said: "It also falls to us to point out that the consequence of approaching structural reform in an uncoordinated way is that we will see a variety of approaches across the country depending on many factors.

"Size may be one of them but others include funding issues across forces, police authority views and geography. I am confident that colleagues will work tirelessly to achieve savings by collaborating but remain of the view that there is more potential if this is centrally led in a more strategic way."

Speaking at the conference Home Secretary Theresa May said: "The cuts will be big, they will be tough to achieve, and cuts will fall on the police as they will on other important public services."

Mrs May told police officers and staff to prepare themselves along with the rest of the public sector, to make sacrifices and accept pay restraint.

"It cannot be right, for example, that police overtime has become institutionalised. We may not win popularity contests for asking these difficult questions, but it is time for them to be asked," she added.

(GK/BMcC)

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