The Police Federation has hit out at news that the government will unveil a further squeeze on the police budget when Chancellor George Osborne makes his autumn budget statement later today (12.30).
The Chancellor is expected to tell parliament there is no “miracle cure” for Britain’s economy – and that he remains committed to spending cuts in order to reduce the deficit.
Paul McKeever the chair of the Federation which represents 140,000 serving police officers said in a statement:
“This government’s contempt for public safety and policing has been demonstrated in countless measures over recent years; most alarming and notable were the crippling cuts to the policing budget of 20%. So this latest announcement that they will be making further cuts of 1% next year then 2% the following year is just flabbergasting.
“Recent commentators from all sectors recognise cuts to the policing budget are causing mounting problems in responding to the public in the way they expect and deserve – what bizarre rationale can the government come up with to justify such a decision? We all accept these are austere times and savings need to be made but the police are already stretched to capacity.
“What this government continually fails to see is that the police do not just fight crime; they have a duty of care and are a continuum of security, safety and welfare for members of the public – often mopping up the fall out of a stretched mental health service and stepping in to breach when tragedy strikes. Police officers should be free to fight crime, keep the streets safe for the British public, and assist in crisis. They need government to support them and support the public, not withdraw the safety net when it is needed most.”