Further cuts to police budgets as part of the Government's austerity programme would make almost two thirds of the public feel less safe, according to a survey.
The Police Federation said some 63% of the 1,828 people they spoke to said they would feel more at risk if the Government continued to tighten police budgets.
There was overwhelming support for bobbies on the ground - some 93% said the number of officers was important in affecting how good a job the police service can do.
And 55% said their feelings of safety were influenced by the number of officers available to their local force, with 19% unsure.
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The Police Federation chairman said officers were often "letting someone off with a warning and hoping for the best".
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