February 6, 2007 at 1:15 pm #1040434starlaughParticipant
Police warn of ‘frontline’ cuts
By Giles Sheldr
Cowley Area Neighbourhood Officer Pc Andrew Reid patrols part of his beat The number of police officers in Oxfordshire could be cut as Thames Valley Police struggles to get to grips with a cash crisis.
The force has admitted it is in a “tough” financial situation – and although savings totalling £7m have been identified in the next financial year, cuts are feared in 2008/09.
A force spokesman last night said it “might impact on numbers of frontline officers”.
There are currently 602 police constables, 152 trainee officers and 47 police community support officers in Oxfordshire.
But Chief Constable Sara Thornton told the Oxford Mail there was a £15m deficit between what was needed and what the force expected to get from the Government in 2008/09.
She said: “We have managed to find £7m of savings for 2007/8 in order to present a balanced budget to the police authority.
“However, we will have to find substantial levels of savings in the next two years – 2008/09 is particularly tight and there is currently a £15m gap between what we estimate we will need and what we will get from the Government.
“Some of that gap can be bridged by raising the police precept locally.
“If there is a five per cent increase then the gap is reduced to about £9m.
“It will be very tough to find a further £9m of cuts, but my team and I will do all we can to preserve the frontline services to the public.”
Last night, a police spokesman warned: “There is no threat to the number of front line officers/PCSOs in Oxfordshire for the next financial year (07/08).
“But we are expected to make further cuts in 08/09 and cannot rule out the fact that those cuts might then impact on numbers of frontline officers.”
The Thames Valley Police budget for 2007/08, expected to be £344.3m, will be decided at the annual police authority meeting on February 16.
Last month an appeal was issued for more community support officers to ease pressure on council street wardens in Oxford and Banbury. The aim is to get 121 trained PCSOs in uniform by April.
Banbury MP Tony Balrdy said last night that Ms Thornton had told him the financial outlook was “very severe”.
He is now seeking a meeting with Police Minister Tony McNulty to lobby for more cash.
Mr Baldry said: “There are ongoing demands on police forces which are ever more sophisticated in their response to major crime, specialist crime and the increased terrorist threat.
“This year there has been an increase in the Thames Valley police budget of 4.62 per cent.
“If the budget is to stand still next year, a 5.94 per cent increase is required – and a 4.3 per cent increase is required in 2009.
“Something must give, and I suspect it will be frontline policing and police community support officer provision, on which a promise was made but never quite delivered.”
Oxford East MP Andrew Smith added: “I strongly oppose any cut in frontline police or police community support officers – people want to see more police on the streets, not less.
“I will speak to the Home Secretary personally about it. “As the Chief Constable is pointing to financial crunch time not in the next financial year, but the one after, common sense says there is time to get this right.”February 6, 2007 at 1:18 pm #1099351spangleParticipant
maybe they shud stop wasting money on using the copper-chopper n police man power to bust free parties thenFebruary 6, 2007 at 5:31 pm #1099352FreeSpirit101Participant
Here, Here.. totally agreed ^^^^February 8, 2007 at 10:23 pm #1099353dogisbigParticipantspangle wrote:maybe they shud stop wasting money on using the copper-chopper n police man power to bust free parties then
Yea! they won’t though cunts wankers are on formFebruary 9, 2007 at 10:15 am #1099350BoozeyregParticipant
only 602 pc’s in oxfordshire, thats not very many really is it.
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