Spending Review: Wiltshire police concern over cuts

Image caption,
Cath Hollands said she thought the force was losing seven or eight officers a month through wastage

Police in Wiltshire have expressed concern that the policing of the county will be affected due to cuts.

It was revealed in Wednesday's Spending Review that 16% of police funding will be cut over four years.

The chair of Wiltshire Police Federation said a reduction in staff members would have an effect on policing.

The force has said civilian staff will be made redundant. It has to cut £17m over the next four years.

A recruitment freeze has been in place since September 2009.

At present, serving police officers cannot be made redundant.

In June, it was announced that Wiltshire Police Authority would freeze the salaries of civilian staff, while serving police officers were to get a pay rise.

Cath Hollands, chair of the Wiltshire Police Federation, said she thought the force was losing seven or eight officers a month through natural wastage.

She said: "Four per cent is better than I was expecting, although over four years that's 16%.

"We can't afford to lose any officers.

"Any reduction in our members is going to have an effect on the way we police Wiltshire."

Sgt Vincent Logue said: "At present, we are struggling to staff each shift.

"If we were to lose further staff, I'm not sure we would have the ability to fulfil the needs of the local community."

He said he thought front-line redundancies were unlikely because the force was losing officers and due to the cost of redundancy packages.

A review of police pay and conditions was under way, he added.

"Morale's quite low in the force, especially on the front line. We are depleted in numbers," he said.

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