Police fear loss of school visits and advice service

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Indy Politics
COMMUNITY police services, such as crime prevention advice and school visits, could be axed under the Government's 'cost cutting' review, chief constables warned.

The Association of Chief Police Officers, on the eve of its conference with local authorities, yesterday published a report questioning how police functions may change.

It said: 'We believe that the review is being driven by the desire to save money and that the police may be forced to withdraw from their vital social service role. We might, for example, have to give up . . . work such as offering crime prevention advice or visiting schools.'

The report added: 'We must not jeopardise Britain's community policing style by privatising or abandoning duties that keep us close to the community.'

It would be beneficial for some work to be farmed out, but a public debate was needed.

Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, yesterday said the review would 'clarify the police role, lighten their workload and so achieve enhanced performance in key service areas.'

He revealed that all escort work between courts, prisons, and police cells, would be contacted out by the end of 1997.