Police Numbers To Drop By 2015
|Nearly six thousand less police officers will be on Britain's streets by 2015, as spending cuts make themselves felt.
A report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) warns that the loss of 5,800 frontline officers in the next two and a half years could leave three police forces unable to provide effective services.
The number of expected police forces is now higher than in previous official surveys, and HMIC has said the Metropolitan, Devon and Cornwall and Lincolnshire police may not be able to provide an efficient or effective enough service to the public in future.
According to the report, 17,600 police jobs have already gone since March 2010 to find savings of £749m.
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And 32,400 uniformed officers and civilian staff jobs will be shed by 2015.
The HMIC report also reveals that forces in England and Wales plan to shut 264 front counters in police stations, shifting public access to 137 points in supermarkets and libraries.
The report, Policing in Austerity: One Year On, says the number of officers that are "visible and available to the public" has already fallen by 5,500, including a fall of 5,200 response officers.
By 2015, forces say they plan to lose a total of 5,800 frontline police officers.
A 20% cut in Home Office grants to police authorities has meant the forces have to make savings of £2.4bn by 2015.
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