Crime boss hits out at cuts

Photo Ian Robinson'Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw
Photo Ian Robinson'Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw

Savage cuts to policing in Lancashire are set to hit £100m under the current Government, senior officials have warned.

Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner hit out at the Government’s austerity measures, which have seen the county lose more than 700 officers since 2010.

Clive Grunshaw said the cuts to Lancashire Police’s budget look “likely to rise to £100m by 2021”.

The Lancashire Police Federation said a further 800 officers’ jobs would be put at risk, slashing the force’s budget by a third in just over a decade. And union chiefs say the huge cuts are in danger of making the constabulary a “reactive only” force which only has the capacity to respond to 999 incidents.

The warning comes as a new report criticised the Home Office for slashing funding without properly understanding the impact on front line policing.

However, policing minister Mike Penning said there is “no question” that police forces still have enough money to do their work. Rachel Baines, chairman of the Lancashire Police Federation, said it is too easy to “get lost in crime figures”. She said: “Across Lancashire, 83% of what we deal with doesn’t generate a crime number – for example, searching days and days for a missing child. But it’s absolutely vital.” She called for better understanding of the demand placed on the police – and what is expected of officers – as she warned there is “no way” the force can continue as budget cuts get deeper.