‘We are not poised to lose 400 police officers’
Police chief denies claims made by commissioner
A POLICE chief has denied the force is to lose 400 officers, despite saying its financial future is ‘bleak’.
Chief Constable Sara Thornton has said the force is not preparing to lose hundreds of officers despite Anthony Stansfeld, the police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, being widely reported as saying it will, as part of government cuts.
He said it would mean the loss of one in 10 officers.
Mr Stansfeld said the move was the only way he could see to save half of a further £40m budget cut expected in the treasury forecast.
Mr Stansfeld said: “Each £1 million we have to lose equates to around 20 police officers.
“That means we are on course to lose 400 police officers out of the currently in the force.
“There will be across-theboard cuts on most, if not all, types of policing.”
Mr Stansfeld said the prospect of losing so many officers meant it might not be possible to ‘keep a lid on’ crime in larger towns.
“It’s extraordinary that the Home Office thinks we can just keep on cutting. I think it has gone too far.”
He added: “In towns such as Reading and Slough, which have some highly transient populations, we’ve made great progress in cutting crime.
“We’ve also invested to combat crimes such as child sexual exploitation.
“I’m concerned investments will endangered by the cuts.
“We will see the very considerable decreases in such
be crime which we have been able to make, begin to reverse.”
But Chief Constable Thornton said she wanted to reassure people this is not the case.
She said: “The recent HMIC report, Policing in Austerity, showed the number of police officers has reduced by two per cent in this force compared to the national average of 11 per cent.
“While I agree the prospects for the next spending review are bleak, may I reassure the public we are not poised to lose 400 officers.
“We need to find another £20million of cuts by 2018, but I and the police and crime commissioner will be doing everything we can to find those cuts elsewhere and maintain police officer numbers as much as possible.”
Chief Constable Sara Thornton and police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld