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Police Cut Warning For Cornwall

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 8:34am 22nd December 2014 (Updated 3:10pm 22nd December 2014)

Cornwall's police force is facing job cuts and station closures.

The southwest's Police and Crime Commissioner warns they are facing some tough choices after the government announced it will get £9m less next year.

That is on top of the cuts that Devon and Cornwall has already made. That has seen around 400 police officers and 500 civilian staff go.

Senior officers are already looking at ways of working more closely with colleagues in Dorset - but the latest announcement could mean a big tax rise on the way.

That could trigger a referendum would, in itself, be expensive to organise and run.

Commissioner, Tony Hogg said: “These cuts are substantial and, have no doubt, they will impact on the way that Devon and Cornwall is policed over the coming years.

“We have been working very hard to prepare for these cuts by developing our work on a strategic alliance with Dorset but it is clear that we cannot lose 5% off our budget every year, for the next four years, without policing in the future being significantly changed.

“It means we must make lots of difficult choices to protect as much front line service as possible but these continued Government cuts leave us no choice but to explore issues such as reducing officer numbers, closing police stations and finding new ways for the public to deal with the police, including more automated systems.  

“None of these choices are easy and many are unpalatable to both us and the public.

“But it is now impossible to absorb this level of budget reduction without an impact on the service provided to the people..

“In the coming year we have good plans in place to protect frontline policing but very soon I will start asking the public if they are content to see further service reductions or if they would rather pay more council tax to maintain high quality policing in Devon and Cornwall.

“This is a not a question for now but, next year, I will be consulting the public to assess their views on paying more for an improved policing service.  

“The chief constable and I are working hard to try and reduce any damage to the service that these cuts will entail but there can be no doubt, services will reduce in the future unless we can find more money."

Janice Adam from the Police Federation said: "That is a huge amount for the force to have to make, the additional savings on top of those we have already made will have an impact on officer numbers I'm sure, and officers are already stretched, they are working to capacity, things will have to be done in a different way.

"The public needs to be reassured that officers do the very best they can, and are really dedicated to doing a really good job, and actually it is the officers themselves who are telling us that they want to be able to do more, but I just think there has to be some realism around what we can deliver with a whole lot less money."

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