Home Office: 20,000 police officers predicted to lose jobs

Thousands of police and immigration officers will lose their jobs after the Home Office budget was slashed by almost a quarter. Although the pain was less acute than some forecasts, 20,000 posts could still vanish in England and Wales over four years.

The Government insisted that large savings could be achieved by improved efficiency and the police pay freeze, and that there should be no reduction in numbers of officers.

Ministers hope the reductions can be cushioned by police authorities recouping extra cash from council taxpayers – optimistic given the scale of cuts faced by local authorities.

The Home Office refused to be drawn yesterday on how much police numbers would fall. However, several forces have drawn up plans to cut thousands of jobs from the 144,000 police officers and 100,000 civilian support staff, and further losses look inevitable in the face of cuts of almost £2bn a year.

Chief constables will attempt to achieve most losses through retirement, voluntary redundancy and recruitment freezes. Chief Constable Peter Fahy, of Greater Manchester Police, said there was "no question" there would be fewer officers.

The auditing giant KPMG estimated yesterday that 18,000 police officers could be lost over the next four years, while the Police Federation puts the figure at 20,000.

Paul McKeever, the Police Federation chairman, added: "While appreciating the government's view that we should purely fight crime, the reality is that police officers deal with a multitude of tasks that fall outside of this remit, including the care and welfare of vulnerable citizens."

Spending on counter-terrorism policing will be reduced by 10 per cent. More than 5,000 of the 25,000 posts in the UK Border Agency will also go as its budget is trimmed by 20 per cent. Officials insist the impact on border controls can be kept to a minimum by efficiency savings, improved productivity and the concentration of checks on high-risk travellers.

A further 1,500 Home Office posts, including jobs at the Identity and Passport Service, are being scrapped as its budget is cut by a third. They are in addition to the 2,000 staff who have recently accepted voluntary redundancy packages.

The department was among the biggest losers, suffering a 23 per cent reduction in its budget to £8.5bn by 2014-15.

One senior official said: "We think we can make it work. We think we can take out a lot of costs while ensuring our essential capabilities for protecting the UK are maintained."

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said: "My absolute priority is to ensure that the UK retains its capabilities to protect the public." But Ed Balls, the shadow Home Secretary, said: "This is not only reckless and dangerous for jobs and the economy, but is taking huge risks with the public's safety."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mechanical Design Engineer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: MECHANICAL D...

SQL DBA (2005/2008/2012, projects, storage requirements)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Copywriter - Corporate clients - Wimbledon

£21000 - £23000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Copywriter - London As a Copywrite...

Horticulture Lecturer / Tutor / Assessor - Derbyshire

£15 - £18 per hour: Randstad Education Nottingham: As a result of our successf...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried