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
- Otter found in Cumbria puddle is now doing swimmingly
- Police scour CCTV footage in bid to find Barrow assault suspect
- Barrow man smashed girlfriend’s car while fleeing police
- Alert over door-to-door fish sales in Cumbria (1 comment)
- Sarah Millican Barrow tickets sell out in 45 minutes (2 comments)
- Work on £5m Barrow regeneration project starts this month (2 comments)
- Lake District rescue team assist walkers lost in the dark (1 comment)
- Police appeal after report of inappropriate conduct towards girl in Barrow
- Weather warning for Cumbria - gales expected
- Police investigating collision at Barrow taxi firm
- Barrow AFC held by Bradford Park Avenue (3 comments)
- Edmo urges Barrow AFC fans to raise the volume (1 comment)
- Loan ace in line to earn permanent Barrow AFC switch
- Casson confident over Barrow AFC title bid
- Wilson hails Barrow AFC squad strength
- Barrow AFC boss facing selection headaches
- The Weekly Meeks: Bradford clash will be no walk in the Park
- Walney Cents' Finch back for top-of-the-table clash
- Hawcoat Park aim to produce another big home display
- Kirkby look to steer cup treble chasers off course