Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Cuts Will Harm Public Safety, Says Chief

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Cuts Will Harm Public Safety, Says Chief

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

SURREY'S police chief today accused ministers of "eroding" his ability to protect the public because of a government decision which will force him to cut 50 jobs -- including 35 frontline officers -- this year.

A capping edict from the Department for Communities and Local Government means Surrey will have to slash [pounds sterling]1.6 million from its budget.

This also means new bills will have to be sent to every council taxpayer in the county at a cost of [pounds sterling]1.2 million -- eating up virtually all of the planned saving.

Ministers insist the cap is necessary to protect Surrey residents from an excessive increase in the policing precept that makes up part of their annual council tax levy.

Surrey Police Authority chairman Peter Williams described the cut as "galling", while Chief Constable Mark Rowley warned that "key operational" jobs would be lost.

He said: "These cuts will undermine the resilience of the policing service and result in officers being pulled from visible frontline duties to fulfil these specialist roles. …

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