Front-line police services in Cheshire are under threat after it was revealed the force could have to find a further £12 million of savings over the next two years.
Cheshire Police has been responding to comments made by the National Police Chief's Council Lead for Finance and Resources, Dave Thompson, who has been highlighting the financial challenged the police face in funding front line services.
Acting Chief Constable of Cheshire Police, Janette McCormick, is currently assessing the extent of further resource reductions on key operational services for the county's Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane to consider as part of the budget setting process. One possibility is that budget constraints could mean reducing police officer numbers by 250 over the next two years - a further 12 per cent reduction.
Despite saving over £60 million since 2010, the constabulary estimates that it will be required by the Government to make a further £12 million of savings in the next two years.
This will have a significant impact on the availability of front-line resources and on the delivery of operational services to the public of Cheshire.
According to national figures, there were 135 fewer police officers in March 2018 in Cheshire than there were in March 2010, a 6 percent drop in numbers. Nationally, the reduction in police officer numbers has been 14 percent, and across the North West, excluding Cheshire, the reduction has been 21 percent.
Despite being praised for the way the force runs its finances and operations, PCC David Keane says he is increasingly concerned as to whether it can maintain its current performance for much longer.