New police commissioners vow to fight budget cuts


Two newly elected police and crime commissioners in neighbouring police forces have vowed to take on the Government over policing budget cuts.

Alan Charles, who was elected as Derbyshire's first commissioner last month, along with Nottinghamshire's Paddy Tipping, have called for a radical rethink of the cost-saving strategy which they say has already resulted in the loss of thousands of frontline police officers across the country.

Meetings will be held with Home Secretary Theresa May on Monday to tackle the issues.

Mr Charles said further cuts in Derbyshire would leave the region in a very vulnerable position in the future.

He said: "Vast and relentless cuts of the scale we have seen over the past few years are eventually going to have a detrimental impact on performance and this will ultimately undermine the good work that has taken place to build confidence and trust in the force and ensure residents living in the county feel safe.

"There are now almost 7,000 fewer frontline officers on the country's streets - almost 150 fewer in this county alone.

"My priority is to keep the communities of Derbyshire safe which is why I believe it is vital commissioners address these issues with the Home Secretary and make our opposition to these unacceptable cuts abundantly clear."

Mr Tipping echoed the sentiments for Nottinghamshire, where he said 20% funding cuts would be aggravated by the current funding formula that would see the budget lose out on £13.5 million next year.

He said of the meeting with the Home Secretary: "I am simply seeking a fair deal for Nottinghamshire.

"If the Government's own funding formula was applied correctly, Nottinghamshire alone would be £13.5 million better off next year which would ease the financial pressure significantly.

"Commissioners across the country are facing incredibly difficult choices and I hope that the Autumn Statement and subsequent police settlement will take the implications for policing into account.

"I want people to be safe, to feel safe and I don't believe that ongoing funding cuts will help. I have pledged to put 150 police officers back on the streets of Nottinghamshire - if we had parity in police funding I would be in a position to increase this figure."