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2 July 2012
Responding to publication today of the HMIC report ‘Policing in austerity: One year on’, Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says:
" This report demonstrates the incredible hard work being done by police officers across England and Wales in the face of very limited budgets and 6% fewer officers in frontline roles. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary rightly identify the risk that the budget cut could have on the long-term sustainability of forces to effectively tackle crime and provide the level of service the public rightly expect and deserve.
"The report also reveals the smokescreen that some forces are saying the frontline is not affected by moving officers from important functions elsewhere. The serious disorder last summer highlighted in the Guardian/LSE research published today, demonstrates that police officers numbers really do matter. Whichever way you cut it, the resilience of the police service to be able to react to whatever is thrown at it is being threatened.
"Forces will now look through the fine detail of the HMIC report, but the overall message is very clear. It’s not too late to stop the rot; the government must be brave, reassess the level of budget cut over the four-year period and do all it can to protect the public by preserving the best police service in the world. They will have the support of the Police Federation and every police officer to do this. "