Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens has warned that police officers are "beating a retreat from the beat". He was writing a day before his Independent Police Commission publishes 37 recommendations on the future of policing.
Police officers could face being struck off a professional register if they are guilty of misconduct, under proposals designed to restore faith in the service.
Lord Stevens' report into the future of policing, published today, recommends a new status of chartered police officer, in addition to the office of constable.
The reform would bring the police into line with other professions such as nursing, with officers registered with the College of Policing which could strike them off for failing to meet professional standards.
The College of Policing would also decide misconduct hearings in public, unlike the current, opaque, disciplinary process.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has described Met commissioner Lord Stevens report into neighbourhood policing as of "profound concern" after it claims to have identified an initial £60 million of savings a year - the equivalent of 500 additional officers.
Lord Stevens, writing in The Sunday Telegraph (£), acknowledged that no extra money for his reforms would be made available, but said he had identified the savings by paying the lowest price for common equipment.
At the Labour-commissioned report's launch Mr Miliband will say: "Crude salami-slicing without reform, as pursued by this Government, simply stores up costs later down the line.
"This independent commission has identified an initial £60 million a year that could be saved by better procurement.
"That is cash that could be re-invested back into the front line: saving that could mean 500 additional police officers protecting our communities."
Policing is more than just reacting to things going wrong for people and catching the criminals who have wronged society. We see it every day when there are major car accidents or big public-order events. But the police are there to help prevent crime, too. That means being visible in the community, making people feel safer, and making communities stronger and more resistant to crime and disorder. It’s about making our communities and our society a better place.