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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Osborne's 'secret' £200m cut to police budgets

Despite assurances to protect the Autumn Statement the Chancellor, George Osborne, is secretly slashing police budgets by over £200 million. The independently elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) will now be forced to raise the additional funds to keep their communities safe by increasing council tax.

Devon and Cornwall police have already put in a request for an increase in local council tax to cover a previous government cuts to the force's budget of £54m a year, with the loss of up to 760 police officers and all 360 community support officers.

Buried deep within a ministerial statement the Government today has finally had to admit that it has cut the funding for the police. Figures released after parliamentary questions also show for example that by 2020 the Nuclear Constabulary, the force guarding vital nuclear power stations, will see a cut in staff of 16%.

Ex-Police Chief, now Liberal Democrat peer, Brian Paddick commenting on the news said: "George Osborne promised that there would be ‘no cuts in the police budget at all’ after intense lobbying from us to protect the police budget. Today it has been confirmed that in reality the police will have to deal with a cut of more than £200 million."

Lord Paddick continued: "The Government have essentially forced independent PCCs to raise the police precept in order to maintain current spending levels. This just goes to show that you cannot trust the Tories to keep their word or protect those that protect us".