Police sound safety alarm over more cuts to frontline

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Police are warning they may not be able to respond to some call-outs if Lancashire loses more frontline officers.

The chair of the county’s Police Federation admitted today she feared for the safety of the public if more officers are lost to cutbacks.

Rachel Baines said: “These cuts are ludicrous. This will not only mean the end of the police service as we know it, but it could have devastating consequences for the public.”

Chief Constable Steve Finnigan has predicted more officers will inevitably be lost as the Government’s austerity measures bite deeper. By 2021 the force could have lost one third of its manpower to the economies - a total of 1,250 from 3,650 at its peak in 2009.

“We are seriously worried about policing in this county and not just as officers, but also as residents,” said Rachel Baines. “We fear for the safety of the public in Lancashire because we won’t be able to do the job as it should be done.

“If anyone tries to assure the public that losing over 1,250 police officers is not going to have an effect on frontline policing then they are deluded.

“People are going to see a vast reduction in the visible presence of police on the streets. That will mean fewer officers to respond to incidents and also a big reduction in neighbourhood policing

“That is a lot of officers and, even spread over the county, it is bound to have a huge effect on our ability to police properly. There will have to be a reduction in the level of service we can offer, some incidents will simply not be responded to. This is not what the public of Lancashire deserve.

“We are not scaremongering, public safety should not be gambled with.”