Police associations challenge Government over funding levels

The Government has been warned that budget shortfalls could force a cut in the number of police officers on the beat in England and Wales.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and the Association of Police Authorities claim a funding increase of nearly 6 per cent is needed, but that police forces may only receive a rise of 3 per cent, because of council tax caps.

They say £350m is needed to maintain current police numbers, now at a record high of nearly 140,000.

Chris Fox, Acpo president, told the BBC: “The last thing we want is a reduction in frontline policing but it is a very real possibility.”

The Home Office said next year’s police budget was still being considered.

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