‘We are not poised to lose 400 po­lice of­fi­cers’

Po­lice chief de­nies claims made by com­mis­sioner

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.”

4,000

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.”

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Chief Con­sta­ble Sara Thorn­ton and po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner An­thony Stans­feld

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