Wiltshire Publications

Issue 478 – Police cuts outlined as funding reduced

WILTSHIRE Police Authority has outlined the challenges faced over the next four years as a 6% cut in grant funding was announced for 2011-2012.

The cuts are a result of Wiltshire Police Authority’s annual budget of £108m, which has now been slashed by £15m over four years to meet government spending cuts.
The police budget will be cut by 6% in 2011-2012, the first year of cuts then 8% in the second year.
A spokesperson from Wiltshire Police Authority said, “There should be no reduction in first line officers throughout Wiltshire Police Force. The cuts will be made by reducing 150-200 police staff by 2013, which, amongst others, will include PCSOs and office admin.”
Christopher Hoare, chair of WPA said, “Cuts to the police budget for 2011-2012 bring very real challenges to ensuring the continuation of an effective policing service that local people rightly expect.
“Wiltshire Police Auth-ority is sharply focused on working with Wiltshire Police to ensure that wherever possible this cut will not impact on our local communities and that we continue to provide the services they need.
“Looking ahead, reduced funding of 20 per cent over the next four years will present further significant challenges for Wiltshire Police. WPA is committed to doing everything possible to protect services to the public, most notably at the frontline, but we must not underestimate the difficulties ahead.
“We are concerned that the ability to protect the service the public receives will however be seriously impacted by the phasing of the cuts to policing. Over the next four years, the worst of the cuts are planned over years one (6 percent) and two (eight percent). While we ack-nowledge the imperative to reduce expenditure, police authorities have called on the government to take a more realistic approach to the phasing of these cuts in order to avoid long term damage to the police service.
“At this time of budget cuts and public concern, we do not believe that the government should continue with proposals to introduce a new form of local accountability for policing, by scrapping police authorities and introducing local elections for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).
“We believe this is the wrong response to people’s priorities. The public understand the need to tackle the deficit. They also want to be kept safe. But there is no evidence that PCCs would improve the service the public receive, and every reason to reject this costly and untested proposal.”