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Police Cuts Warning

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5:25am 3rd July 2012
(Updated 5:25am 3rd July 2012)

Cuts could mean police in Devon and Cornwall police cannot do their job properly.
 
That is according to the official watchdog.
 
The Inspectorate of Constabulary is worried about taking 700 officers off the streets.

Its report warns across the UK, there will be almost 6000 fewer officers on the frontline by 2015.

Spokeswoman Zoe Billingham says, "That six percent is doable, so long as there's a transformation in efficiency from the back office into the frontline so that crime fighting capacity for the policing services and most importantly for the public, is preserved".

Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer says our force needs more funding: "Before the CSR we had already carried out a large number of changes in our back office functions which saw us make considerable savings and put 200 police officers back on the frontline. Achieving the correct balance between frontline and back office is essential for us to deliver a balanced, efficient police service and I will continue to protect the frontline where possible.
 
"I believe the HMIC frontline definition no longer captures the ways in which this Force has redesigned itself to improve both service and efficiency.
 
"For example, HMIC determine an investigating officer to be only partially frontline, whilst a response officer is considered fully frontline. In the case of investigators, which are driving the numbers in this calculation, we consider these roles are dedicated crime fighters and fully frontline.
 
"While we will see a 17% reduction in police officer posts over the CSR's four years here in Devon and Cornwall, and that is above the national average, we have designed a sustainable policing model for public safety.
 
"Our national and local funding arrangements as well as the unique geography and summer policing, for which we are not funded, bring an additional challenge.
 
police 1"We have seen a small increase in crime last year, some three per cent, but we still remain one of the safest places in the country and are one of the highest performing forces when our public are asked if we do a good job.
 
"We also now have visibility in our communities which is higher than ever with around 40% of people saying they see a uniformed officer in their community at least every two weeks.
 
"I will continue to collaborate and look to innovations and modernising.
 
"However, I must stress reservations as to whether Devon and Cornwall Police receive appropriate allocation of central government funding in comparison to other forces.
 
"We also have one of the lowest precept levels both regionally and nationally. While there is a need to focus our resources these are further factors we have to prepare for.
 
"These are challenging times to lead the service, but they are also times when I am proud of the commitment and dedication of all officers and staff working to make Devon and Cornwall remain one of the safest areas in the country to live, work and visit".
5:25am 3rd July 2012

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