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Police Cuts Report

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 12:57pm 20th July 2013 (Updated 1:02pm 20th July 2013)

There are claims that protecting Cornwall's frontline police from cuts may be a struggle.

An official report into the southwest force says things have improved in the last year.

But Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has warned that saving almost £54 million will be tough.

It comes after Pirate FM told you that overall, crime in Cornwall and Devon fell by 7% in the year leading up to March 2013, but that sex offences and some violent crime had risen.

Deputy Chief Constable David Zinzan said: "I don't want to be alarmist. I think it will be challenging. We've met the challenge up to now, we've met it as has been acknowledged by the report and I'm confident we can meet it in the future, but it will be difficult.

"We have got significant challenges ahead. We've got to reduce the force budget by 53 million pounds over five years and 80% of our costs are on staff so it's a real difficult challenge in how we do that but maintain frontline officer numbers."

Tony Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said: "I'm very pleased to see that the HMIC has recognised the action already taken by Devon and Cornwall Police which has enabled it to take a firm grip on the challenges it faces. It highlights that the force has made good progress and that it is in a much stronger place to manage further tough spending decisions.

"However, it's important we don't rest on our laurels and I will continue to discuss with the Chief Constable where further improvements can be made.

"At the same time, the report supports exactly what we have been saying - that we face a greater challenge than most other forces in other parts of the country because we receive lower than average funding. I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Chief Constable in lobbying Government and our local MPs to try to ensure we get a fairer slice of the cake because, as the report highlights, we have a larger geographic area to police as well as dealing with significant increases in the population over the summer months."

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