Bedfordshire Police HQ
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Watchdog concerns over Bedfordshire Police cuts

A watchdog has found that Bedfordshire Police has cut the number of its officers to an unacceptable level.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said it put it effective policing at risk.

The force, which employs 1,102 officers, is one of three in the country which has been told to improve.

Chief Constable Colette Paul said: "Last year HMIC recognised the problems that we face and identified the risks ahead due to the fact that we are a small force, with a small budget, dealing with a particularly challenging environment.

"One of my priorities when I arrived as the new chief constable was to recruit people to the force and to fill any vacancies to strengthen our capacity so that we were in a position to deliver as good a service as we can to the public within the constraints we have.

"Looking back now, we've come a long way although we still have more to do over the next five years to meet our ambitious five-year plan."

Bedfordshire Police said to fill vacancies, 58 new police officers are currently in training and another recruitment drive is planned in the autumn, in addition to the 28 new police and community support officers who have joined Bedfordshire Police in the last 12 months.

  • 22 Jul 2014
  • From the section England