Fears that police budget cuts will lead crime increase
A new report has warned that Devon and Cornwall Police may not be able to provide "an efficient or effective service". The claim was made in a study by the HMIC, the organisation which carries out independent inspections of Police forces on behalf of the Government.
The Force is losing more than six hundred officers between now and March 2015 - and almost four hundred backroom staff. It is all part of more than fifty million pounds worth of cuts the force says it is having to make. John Andrews reports.
Police service 'may not be effective in the future'
Devon and Cornwall Police has been named as one of three police forces which may not be able to provide an efficient or effective service for the public in the future.
The judgment came in a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
In our professional judgment (and having considered local context, including police cost to the taxpayer), there is a risk that three forces may not be able to provide a sufficiently efficient or effective service for the public in the future.
Lincolnshire and the Metropolitan Police were the other forces named.
Almost 6,000 fewer officers will be on the policing frontline in three years' time as a result of the Government's budget cuts.
The number of non-frontline officers is almost halved, with 7,600 going by 2015, the report said.
Some 137 police access counters, such as in libraries and supermarkets, will also open to help offset the closure of 264 front desks.
The figures do not include those for Britain's biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, or for Cheshire, as they have not yet produced their plans.