Police cuts must focus on non-uniformed staff, federation warns

Forthcoming cuts to policing budgets should focus on non-uniformed staff, the Police Federation has warned.

Earlier this week, home secretary Theresa May told the Police Federation Conference in Bournemouth that the police service will “bear a fair share of the burden” of the coming crackdown on public spending.

While May reassured the rank-and-file officers that the remainder of their three-year pay deal struck with the last government, which ends in September 2011, would be honoured, she also announced “a wholesale review” of police pay and conditions,

The police force is already in the throes of an efficiency drive designed to make savings of £500m. There are now a record 143,770 police officers in England and Wales, along with 16,507 community support officers. May gave no guarantees that current staffing numbers would be maintained.

In response, a federation spokesman told Personnel Today: “We trust [the home secretary] has taken on board that the police work in a different environment and under different terms and conditions than other public sector workers. We’re well aware that we are in a difficult financial time. But cuts – when they come – should focus away from uniformed officers.”

Meanwhile, the coalition government’s vow to cut down on quangos has raised questions about the future of the National Policing Improvement Agency.

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