Police warn of job cuts

HERTS Police Authority was first out of the traps today to comment that the contents of the Coalition’s comprehensive spending review came as no surprise - but there would inevitably be job cuts.

The police authority said it had been planning for a funding shortfall of about �40 million over the next four years and following the Chancellor’s statement, it would be refining its spending projections over coming weeks, particularly when the government’s funding settlement is known later this year.

The county has already lost �2 million in grants in the current year and has imposed a freeze on officer and staff recruitment including Police Community Support Officers.

It now expects that situation to continue into the foreseeable future with job losses inevitable as 80 per cent of its funding is spent on officers and staff making it impossible to maintain current numbers.

Stuart Nagler, chair of the police authority, said: “These are difficult times but we remain committed to delivering the best possible service to the people of Herts and our priority is to protect frontline services wherever possible.”

But he admitted that at the same time, the authority was realistic about what it could achieve with the resources available and in the months ahead would have to make, “some very hard decisions” about policing priorities in the county.