‘Cracks are appearing’ in police services, claims Federation

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CUTS to Northumbria Police have been slammed by the Police Federation.

Figures released by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) have shown that policing in the North East will be among some of the worst in the country.

According to the report Northumbria Police will have 17 per cent less police officers as a result, the fifth highest loss nationwide.

The cuts will also see £80million taken off the region’s police force budget, with up to 1,890 officers, staff and community support officers set to lose their jobs.

But Gordon Armstrong, vice-chairman of the Northumbria Police Federation, said his organisation held the Government responsible for the cuts the force was facing.

He said: “Our fight remains with the Coalition Government as we are well aware that the Chief Constable is being forced into this position to make these drastic cuts.

“We are only one year into the 20 per cent cuts they promised and we can already see cracks appearing across the country.

“We are fully behind the Chief Constable because she is making every effort to keep the force together.

“I urge our members to lobby their MPs to tell the government that these cuts are too big as it’s ridiculous for them to think that they can cut the workforce but for the same level to be sustained.”

In the report, the Inspector of Constabulary for the Northern Region, Roger Baker, said Northumbria was “cutting significantly more police officer posts than many other forces in England and Wales.”

Sue Sim, Northumbria Police Chief Constable, said: “We have approached the stringent financial agenda in a planned and considered way.

“I gave my personal commitment to maintaining visible policing services as delivered by 24/7 response, neighbourhood teams, CSO Patrol and the detectives who support our communities.

“The HMIC report identifies that, by 2015 in Northumbria we will achieve over 90 per cent of our police officers in these visible policing roles providing a direct service to our communities.

“This is one of the highest rates in the country and is exactly where our communities tell us our police officers should be, delivering neighbourhood policing, being highly visible, accessible to all and responding to the needs of local people.

“It also states that we plan to have 79 per cent of our total workforce in frontline roles by 2015 which is higher than most other forces.”

Twitter: @tomwhite7