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Police Federation finds fall in Merseyside force morale

A Police Federation survey of officers in Merseyside has revealed that 98% of respondents feel that morale has fallen since budget cuts were announced.

Some 88% of those asked said the cuts will have a detrimental effect on crime levels.

Forces across the UK have been told to make 20% savings, which in Merseyside amounts to £66m to be achieved by cutting 1,800 jobs by 2015.

About 1,500 officers from the 4,200-strong force took part in the survey.

Some 230 officer posts have been cut within the past year with a further 570 to be shed along with 1,000 civilians.

Courage of convictions

Almost 80% of those questioned believe their workload has already increased or will increase in the future and 91% believe there will be a decline in service delivery.

Just over 90% of respondents believe planned changes to force terms and conditions will cause some officers to leave.

Ian Leyland, secretary of Merseyside Police Federation, said: "The federation is not opposed to change and accepts that policing must play its part in public sector cuts.

"However, if this government truly believes in considered and informed change for the better then they should have the courage of their convictions and establish a Royal Commission on policing.

"Cuts of this magnitude are criminal and, despite the very best efforts of ranks and file police officers, will undoubtedly lead to a poorer service for the residents and businesses in Merseyside."

Home Secretary Theresa May said the government was helping forces cut costs by reducing bureaucracy to save "man hours" and by helping them with back room costs like IT procurement.

She told the BBC: "People talk a lot about police numbers, as if police numbers are the holy grail. But, actually what matters is what those police are doing. It's about how those police are deployed".

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