We can’t cut much more, police warn

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Warwickshire Police says it is faced with a ‘real challenge’ to make further budget cuts in light of last week’s spending review.

In a joint statement, police commissioner Ron Ball, deputy chief constable Neil Brunton and Warwickshire Police Federation chairman Simon Payne said it was still too early to know the impact of the six per cent cut in spending, but said it won’t be possible to continually cut money and improve services.

The statement said: “The budget reductions faced by policing nationally are less than we feared but they are still significant.

“In Warwickshire we are going to be faced with a real challenge to achieve further savings over and above those we have already made in recent years.

“Warwickshire Police has a strong track record in delivering cost reduction whilst improving performance and will maximise protection to the public with whatever resources and finance it has.”

Since 2010, the number of officers has dropped from 919 to 802, a decline of 117.

But the overall crime rate since 2009 has remained broadly the same, and improved in some areas.

The latest figures show that crime in Rugby is below the Warwickshire average in most categories.

The statement continued: “This process cannot go on indefinitely. It isn’t possible to continually withdraw resources from any organisation and expect an ever improving level of performance. Warwickshire Police have responded superbly to previous challenges.”

The Government claims such cuts are necessary to reduce its deficit.