Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Police could be cut by 350 in two years

Gloucestershire Police looks set to lose more than 350 officers and civilian staff over the next two years.

The proposed cuts would affect 118 officers and about 234 police staff by the end of the 2012 to 2013 financial year.

Gloucestershire Police Authority will meet to discuss the cuts next Monday.

Authority chairman Rob Garnham said they would be looking at getting more station-bound officers onto the streets.

The Labour Party predicted on Sunday that at least 10,190 uniformed police officer posts would go by the end of 2012 in England and Wales.

The coalition government has always insisted that front line jobs can be protected, despite setting police budget cuts at 20% by 2014-15.

Mr Garnham, who is also chairman of the National Association of Police Authorities, said forces needed to think creatively when protecting front line services.

He said public safety was still "top of our minds".

"We are working with the chief constable, driving forward the idea it's about capacity not cost.

"Let's not spend money on buildings, get officers out of buildings and get them on the streets.

"It's about changing the way you do things."

Gloucestershire's Chief Constable Tony Melville called the 4%-a-year cut in police funding a "dramatic reduction" when it was announced in October.

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