Vigilante warning as forces cut 1,700 posts
Wednesday 25 January 1995
Chief Constables warned yesterday that a reduction in service and a less visible police force could drive the public into the arms of second-rate private security firms or vigilante patrols.
News of the cuts will come as an embarrassment to Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, who has promised more police on the beat as part of his law and order package. But yesterday the country's senior officers said frontline services, such as spending time with victims, were more likely to be cut as forces met the "demand-led" calls on their resources such as answering rape and murder calls and dealing with prison riots.
The warnings came after the Association of Chief Police Officers surveyed all 43 police forces in England and Wales on the effect of the new formula for police funding.
John Hoddinott, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, (Acpo) acknowledged that police were one of the few winners in last year's Budget round with a 3 per cent increase. But he said only four forces could improve services and 17 maintainservices.
The increase, taking the police budget to over £6bn, has been swallowed up by inflation, last year's spending commitment, an ever-increasing pension demand, and the need for the first time to set aside a contingency fund for demands such as policing long-term road or port protests. Until now local councils were able to underwrite such costs.
The cuts in policing levels will not mean redundancies, but some forces have already frozen recruitment.
Forces had been expecting to lose about 800 of the 126,500-strong force but the effect of the new budget formula has more than doubled that figure to 1,700 plus 200 civilians.
David Shattock, chairman of Acpo's finance committee, said: "The consumer will look towards the unregulated private security industry; the one man and his dog who might just have come out of prison."
Mr Hoddinott said: "We will not be able to provide the service that we would like and if we are not then there are those who will step in to fill the breach and that is not good news for the public."
Some hard-hit forces, such as Dorset and Thames Valley, have lobbied Home Office ministers, who have promised to look again at the budget formula. Mr Hoddinott said that following a study in his force area, Hampshire, ministers might be persuaded that the public wish to spend more on the police.
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-driver is missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
£16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...