CAMBS: Police cuts could put public at risk

CAMBRIDGESHIRE’S police officers believe government cuts will have a detrimental effect on crime levels and result in the public getting a poorer service, according to a new survey.

Ninety-nine per cent of the region’s officers who responded to an online survey run by staff association the Police Federation said morale had fallen owing to planned police budget cuts, the possibility of a reduction in police officer numbers and potential changes to their terms and conditions.

Eighty-three per cent of police officers believed cutting officer numbers in Cambridgeshire will have a detrimental effect on crime levels.

As a result of the reduction in police officer numbers 77 per cent said their workload had already increased or will increase in the future.

Eight-five per cent of respondents also predicted there would be a decline in service delivery.

A 20 per cent budget cut to policing was announced by Chancellor George Osborne last month.

Changes to public sector pensions announced by Lord Hutton and changes to police pay and conditions recommended in the Winsor Review, could also mean officers are up to �4,000 worse off.

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Eighty-eight per cent of police officers in Cambridgeshire believe changes to their terms and conditions will force some of their colleagues out of the force.

Shaun Ryan, chairman of Cambridgeshire Police Federation said: “The message from police officers in Cambridgeshire is loud and clear. They feel they are being hit from all sides by this government who, in addition to attacking their terms and conditions, are imposing a 20 per cent cut on the service which will undoubtedly lead to increased levels of crime and a poorer service for the public in Cambridgeshire.”

He called for a major public inquiry into policing and appealed to residents to lobby against the cuts.