Independent crossbencher Lord Condon told the Lords that “profound” changes planned for the police force would make it “incredibly difficult” to deliver foot or car patrols.
His comments came at question time as peers voiced concern about proposed new funding formula for police forces across the country.
Lord Condon said the police service could not be exempt from public service cuts but warned that cuts of the “magnitude anticipated and planned for” will make it a “smaller, more restricted, hopefully more efficient service”.
He said this service would find it “incredibly difficult to deliver reassuring general patrolling on foot or by vehicle, or any real semblance of neighbourhood policing”.
Liberal Democrat Lord Paddick, a former deputy assistant Met commissioner, said the nature of terrorism was changing and in many cases “community intelligence” may be the only way to prevent “outrages”.
He said that if the chief constable of a force like Lancashire, which was rated as outstanding, said that with the changes proposed he would no longer be able to maintain neighbourhood policing, how were the police to secure the “vital community intelligence which will keep our communities safe”.