Devon and Cornwall Police face potential £30m cut

Devon and Cornwall Police estimates it will have to save £30m over the next four years because of reduced government funding.

This is in addition to the £51m the force has already had to save, which has led to the loss of 400 officers.

The information was given to BBC South West Home Affairs Correspondent Simon Hall by senior police sources.

Officially, the force declined to comment ahead of the central funding announcement, which is due next week.

Merging its major crime team with other South West forces - Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire - has been discussed, but discounted "at this time", the BBC understands.

Special Branch officers from the five South West forces already pool resources and work together, and Devon and Cornwall has begun examining areas of collaboration with Dorset Police.

It is also understood Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg will ask for a 2% rise in the police's share of the council tax in an attempt to protect services.

Devon and Cornwall Police said its budget had not yet been finalised and "all areas of working were being examined in order to make savings".

A source in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said that, despite the expected cuts, they believed "frontline policing could be protected by exploring new and innovative ways of working".

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