Up to 60,000 police jobs could be lost as a result of government spending cuts, a study suggests.
The study, based on public spending projections from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), found the “worst-case” scenario could see 40% of the total workforce being axed across England and Wales by 2015.
It warns that over the next five years at least 11,500 police officer and staff posts could be axed and that this figure could reach 60,000 when the government completes its spending review in the autumn.
Tim Brain, the recently retired chief constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary and now Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University, estimates that funding levels to the police force could reduce by 6.7% over the next five years, and the cuts will vary across forces. Looking at the impact on police pay, he predicts that there will be no pay increases between 2014 and 2015.
The study comes only a month after home secretary Theresa May said front-line police activity should be increased.
According to figures released by the British Crime Survey (BCS) today, there were 900,000 fewer crimes in England and Wales last year – lower than when Labour came to office in 1997. Shadow Policing Minister David Hanson MP told BBC news last night that such progress is likely to be reversed by the government’s actions.
“We need to ask serious questions about the Government’s commitment to reducing crime and protecting the British people.”
There has always been a progressive case for strong safeguards against criminals who rip off and terrorise mainly people in working class communities. But these priorities are not Tory priorities.