Planned Police budget cuts could mean 400 fewer policemen in Nottinghamshire

Paddy Tipping campaigning to re-open the custody suite at Worksop Police Station  (w121108-7b)
Paddy Tipping campaigning to re-open the custody suite at Worksop Police Station (w121108-7b)
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Draconian cuts planned for Nottinghamshire Police could see a reduction of 400 officers over the next three years and low level crime going unpoliced.

Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping will tell Policing Minister Mike Penning that tough settlements will mean more tough decisions at a high level meeting on Wednesday on police finance.

He estimates between 2010 and 2020 the force will have lost approaching 60 per cent of its grant from the Government.

And with a recruitment freeze on officers, he told Chad 100 officers a year were not being replaced.

Paddy Tipping said: “Most of the budget goes on staff, officers and PCSOs we will not be replacing any officers who leave.

“We have already reduced PCSOs by 70 this year.

“This is not what he people of Mansfield want. They want to see uniformed people on the street.”

The Chancellor has asked the police to prepare for further savings of 25 per cent or 40 per cent over the next CSR, the results of which are due to be announced around the end of November.

For Nottinghamshire this means additional savings of £30m or £50m.

Commissioner Tipping added: “Cuts on this scale make it extremely difficult.

“We are going to have to make some harsh choices.

“Clearly we can’t do everything we are doing at this point.

“Every offence used to be visited by an officer.

“When people want us to come we will come. Things like serious assaults and sexual assaults will take priority.

“Smaller things like shed burglaries - will we be able to police that in the future?

“Nobody wants to see services reduced.

“People are grown up, they know we have now got a Government that wants to balance the budget.

“We have no alternative than to talk to people about the hard choices before us.”

At its peak in 2010 the force had 2,400 officers. Now there are 2,000 and at the end of the financial year this could go to 1,920. Another 400 off would leave 1,500 officers in Nottinghamshire in three years ti

He said cuts on the scale proposed would be unsustainable and some smaller forces could even go bankrupt.

He added: “People tell me they are prepared to pay a bit more for the police. At this time we can only put up Council Tax by two per cent.

“Why not let us raise more money by raising Council Tax?

“Pay and conditions have changed and officers are working harder than ever before.

“The police and courts have not been protected and they have taken a harder share of cuts.

“But I don’t think anyone would have expected 60 per cent.

“We have done the easy things, with station closures, merged back offices and sharing a legal team.”

“People living in the Mansfield area want to feel safe and secure in their homes and streets. Budget cuts on this scale make that increasingly difficult for Nottinghamshire Police.”

The commissioner will be hosting a stall in Mansfield Four Seasons shopping centre in December to ask members of the public what their priorities are.