Spending Review: police budget cut ‘no surprise’

CHANCELLOR George Osborne’s announcement today (Wednesday) that police forces will have to cut their budgets by four per cent is “no surprise” to Hertfordshire Police Authority.

In a statement, the police authority and Hertfordshire Constabulary said they had well-developed plans in anticipation of these cuts.

And, although the Spending Review will mean changes to the way police services are provided, they remained committed to serving the county.

However, the statement hinted that job losses were inevitable. With more than 80 per cent of the police authority’s budget spent on salaries for officers and staff, “maintaining current numbers over the coming years is not an option”, the statement warned.

Authority chairman Stuart Nagler said: “These are difficult times but we remain committed to delivering the best possible police service to the people of Hertfordshire and our priority is to protect frontline services wherever possible.

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“This will mean finding different ways to do things in the future. But we won’t be doing this in isolation.

“Now, more than ever, we need to work with our officers and staff, our communities and our stakeholders to make sure that Hertfordshire remains one of the safest counties in the country.

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“At the same time we are realistic about what we can achieve with the resources available and, in the months ahead, will be making some very hard decisions about policing priorities in the county.”

Chief constable Frank Whiteley said: “The scale of the required savings is such that it is necessary to drive out cost savings across all areas of the force and to challenge many of the existing approaches to service delivery.

“Despite these financial challenges, our force continues to be consistently recognised as a well-performing and efficient organisation and every effort will be made to ensure these high standards are maintained.”

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