Suffolk Police cuts 'will hit riot reinforcements plan'

Mick Richardson, of Suffolk Police Federation, said David Cameron should stay out of policing

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Suffolk Police Federation is warning that planned cuts to the force may hamper its ability to provide reinforcements at any future riots.

Officers from Suffolk were among 6,000 from outside London drafted in to help police last week's disturbances.

But the federation said plans to cut 100 officers and 200 civilian posts would make it harder to help in future.

Matthew Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk, said forces needed to cut red tape, bureaucracy and form-filling.

"It hampers them doing their jobs and that's where the chief constables have to find their efficiency savings, not at the front line," he said.

Across England and Wales, 16,000 police officers are set to lose their jobs as forces make savings.

'Positive response'

Mick Richardson, secretary of Suffolk Police Federation, said: "We have been branded as inflexible and working Spanish practices and in need of gross reform.

"We say that's not the case and if they really think that 16,000 police officers can be replaced by not doing this form or that form then I'm afraid they are living with their head in a bucket of sand.

"Should we see such disorder in the future, we genuinely believe that we will be unable to mount such a positive response in such a timely manner."

The cuts to Suffolk Police are due to be made by 2015 as the force attempts to make savings of £13.5m.

On Thursday Prime Minister David Cameron praised the efforts of officers from forces including Suffolk and Essex during the riots.

"The point I made about the deployment of officers is, I think, one of the lessons that we have to learn about the ability to surge up numbers when the circumstances require it," he said.

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