Almost 14,500 police jobs in just over a third of forces in England and Wales are to be lost, as police chiefs begin to assess the impact of over 20 per cent funding cuts announced by the Conservative-led government just four weeks ago.
The figures come from a survey by Labour’s Shadow Home Affairs team, to be published by Ed Balls today when he gives evidence to a Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry on the Spending Review’s impact on policing.
According to the research, 16 out of the 43 police forces or authorities in England and Wales have made public statements announcing a total of 14,482 police staff jobs will be lost, including 6,257 police officers.
The final scale of the cuts over the spending review period will be significantly beyond this. The majority of police forces and police authorities have yet to make announcements about how many posts will be lost and some of the numbers announced so far relate to just one year only.
Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow H ome Secretary, said:
“This research shows the huge impact that the Conservative-led government’s huge twenty per cent cuts to policing are already making.
“14,500 police jobs, including over 6,000 officers, are already set to go. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of police forces have not yet announced how many jobs will go and some of those which have are only currently putting figures on job losses for one year.
“The Prime Minister David Cameron and his Home Secretary Theresa May totally failed to stand up for the police in the Spending Review negotiations and now we are starting to see the consequences of that mistake.
“The police are taking a much bigger hit than other vital public services. The sheer speed and scale of these cuts – over twenty per cent and with the biggest reductions in the first two years - will hit the frontline hard and go way beyond what independent experts believe can be achiev ed from efficiencies and better procurement.
“At a time of rising public protest, an ongoing terror threat, the security challenge of next year’s Olympics and an expensive reorganisation of policing, these cuts are a reckless and dangerous gamble. They will undermine the fight against crime and take unnecessary risks with national security and the safety of our communities. The government should go back to the drawing board and think again.”