Bedfordshire’s policing boss has offered a cautious welcome to the latest funding news from the government.
Olly Martins was elected last month as the county’s first Police And Crime Commissioner.
He spoke to the Home Secretary earlier this week about funding plans, as reported in today’s Times & Citizen, and offered a lukewarm welcome to the government’s announcement on Wednesday.
Mr Martins said: “I welcome the Home Secretary’s announcement that she has protected government funding for the police from further cuts in the next financial year, following the announcement of a one per cent cut across all departments.
“Unfortunately this still leaves uncertainty about the impact of the two per cent cut announced for the following year.
“As I made clear to Mrs May at the PCC Home Office summit earlier this week, Bedfordshire Police will be in a difficult place if the force budget is cut further.”
He added: “We are already seeing the loss of 185 police officers and half of our PCSOs compared to the levels in 2010 as a result of this government’s 20 per cent police budget cuts.
“I fear that any further budget cuts can only mean further reductions in police strength and I know this is not what the public want. We are not, as Mr Osborne attempts to suggest, talking about bureaucrats. We are talking about police officers and PCSOs.”