Gloucestershire

Spending Review: 'Dramatic' cuts in police funding

Gloucestershire's Chief Constable has called the 4%-a-year cut in police funding a "dramatic reduction".

The drop in funding, which will happen for four years, was announced as part of the government's spending review.

Chief Constable Tony Melville said he was now waiting to see how the county council, which part-funds some front line officers, would be affected.

"We need to pull together in the public sector here in Gloucestershire," he said.

Mr Melville said he had already identified £8m worth of savings which involved reducing both police management and police support by 30% in order to keep officers on the front line.

But he said that 20% of front-line officers who work in the safer community teams were funded through a partnership with the county council.

"Until they and other organisations see the impact of cuts, I can't be certain what the impact on policing will be in Gloucestershire," he said.

Pete Bungard, chief executive of the Conservative-led council, said he would not be in a position to announce how funding cuts will affect the local authority until 12 November.

He said there was "absolutely no question" that there would be job losses at the council, but he welcomed the increased freedom to decide what their funding is spent on.

"There are some positive developments emerging; that ring-fencing of funding is largely being removed, there will be less government targets to meet and they are reducing the number of grants we have to apply for," he said.

"This should give us more freedom to make local decisions about money and priorities."

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