Crime concerns over Surrey Police cuts

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Claims that crime will rise in Surrey because of cuts to police funding have been rebutted by the force.

Surrey Police Federation said 20% budget cuts would "undoubtedly lead to increased levels of crime".

The force agreed cost-cutting measures in its 2011-12 budget after the government said funding would fall by 20% over the next four years.

Surrey Police said it was increasing front-line constables by 200, so concerns over cuts should not apply.

Start Quote

"It is to be hoped that without a reduction in the front line there will not be an increase in crime”

End Quote Surrey Police statement
'Hard decisions'

But Kieran Diamond, chairman of Surrey Police Federation, said the force was losing 35 senior officers and "something would give".

The senior officers, at inspector through to chief superintendent level, are being made to retire under regulation A19 of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987.

He said a national survey by the Police Federation had found that 98% of Surrey members said morale had fallen, 86% said cutting officer numbers would have a detrimental effect on crime, 69% believed their workload had increased and 87% predicted a decline in service delivery.

A statement issued by Surrey Police said that following the national publicity being given to police budget cuts, it was "not surprising" this would cause concern to officers.

But it said: "We are increasing our front-line officers by 200 so the concerns over officer cuts should not apply in Surrey.

"This is the result of a forward-thinking approach and some very hard decisions on our buildings, our management structure and our support services.

"It is to be hoped that without a reduction in the front line there will not be an increase in crime."

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