Cuts-hit force risks ‘death by strangulation’ says Cumbria police boss
Last updated at 14:28, Tuesday, 02 September 2014
CUMBRIA’S police force faces “death by strangulation” if the rate of budget cuts continue, the county’s police and crime commissioner has said.
Richard Rhodes spoke out yesterday as it emerged bosses must find £10.4m of savings by 2018.
The latest budget cuts will add to the £16m the constabulary has already saved since the government introduced widespread cuts to public services, and leading figures at Cumbria police are warning the service may not be able to cope with much more.
Mr Rhodes said: “If the current level of cuts continue, maybe it will be a case of death by strangulation. We will be saying to the public, ‘what sort of force do you want and what can we afford.’”
Cumbria’s new chief constable, Jerry Graham admits that frontline services are likely to bear the brunt of the latest round of belt-tightening.
However, the cuts won’t be exclusive to crime fighting personnel as the force say that a number of areas are being reviewed including shift patterns, neighbourhood policing teams, community safety, deployment of PCSOs, administration and front counters.
Mr Graham said: “There are no easy options to make cuts. We have substantially reduced our spend on police staff. Inevitably future cuts will mean the loss of people. Change is required due to budget cuts but I am focused on protecting frontline policing as far as possible. I will continue to work hard to keep Cumbria one of the safest places to live, work, and visit, and provide the best possible policing service we can afford.”
Despite the need to make more savings, Mr Rhodes insists that the force is “not in a state of acute crisis”, adding: “We are not going to go broke at the moment.”
Mr Rhodes and Mr Graham are both against any merger with another police force, and Mr Rhodes has been highlighting budgeting concerns with central government and HMIC.
Mr Rhodes said: “We have much more expenditure running a police force in a rural area.”
The force is yet to reveal more in-depth information about what the cuts could mean for the county, but says it will be embarking on a series of meetings, including public consultations, in the coming months to thrash out the details.
First published at 14:26, Tuesday, 02 September 2014
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
In all seriousness boots on the ground in Barrow are few and far between.So whatever cuts are made won't really affect us.
Make your comment
- Barrow businessman to bring back classic pop Sass
- New deals on offer for Cumbria tourist attractions and restaurants
- Gardening fans make a beeline for South Cumbria festival’s delights
- Helping you enjoy a great day’s racing in Barrow
- Perfect opportunity for BAE Systems Barrow recruitment fair
- Cycling stars not the only professionals hitting Barrow
- Barrow race is on to share in cycling glory
- South Cumbria businesses can see benefit to backing big day
- Stars in Barrow for thrilling spectacle
- Wheelbase aim to hit top gear on home soil
- Six of the best to look out for
- Handley in form ahead of Barrow Tour Series showdown
- Lupton the perfect stand-in for Barrow Raiders
- Fun in the sun at Barrow football festival: with picture gallery
- Five-star show from Barrow athletes
- Net gain for Furness tennis players: with picture gallery
- Cup final heartache for Barrow Celtic
- Furness Future Flyers put the pedal down: with picture gallery
- Furness youngsters in national table tennis finals: with picture gallery
- Furness school athletes on track to success: with picture gallery
- South Cumbria children’s creativity worth crowing over
- Vital to pick up condition early
- Sharing the pain of chronic problem
- First Aid
- Horses ready to meet the trains
- All aboard for a free trip into bus history
- Just rabbiting on about DIY skills (1 comment)
- Reply pleasing and surprising
- FOOD REVIEW: The Wheatsheaf Inn, Brigsteer (1 comment)