England

Devon and Cornwall Police cuts 'will increase crime'

Policemen on beat
Image caption Devon and Cornwall Police has about 3,500 officers

The majority of police in Devon and Cornwall believe crime will rise as a result of spending cuts, the Police Federation says.

A survey by the federation, which represents rank and file officers, said 85% of the counties' police thought cuts would have a detrimental effect.

The federation said the it showed officers' real concerns.

Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable Stephen Otter said he was changing the way the force worked so it could cope.

'No gerrymandering'

He plans to cut 700 police officers from its total of 3,500 as part of £47m of savings over four years

Nigel Rabbits, of the federation, which represents rank and file officers in England and Wales, said the survey was not about trying to change boundaries or rules.

He said: "It's not gerrymandering. These are are front-line officers' real concerns.

"They have a challenge to drive down crime in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, they come in to do that every day.

"But they cannot understand how they can maintain that service with 700 less police officers over the next four years."

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