RISING cuts to Northumbria Police officer numbers will make it almost impossible to safeguard the force’s record on crime fighting, it has been claimed.
Officers at the Northumbria Police Federation have launched a major lobbying effort after figures revealed the true cost of police redundancies.
Previous figures had put the job losses hitting Northumbria at 825 civilian staff and a recruitment freeze seeing the number of warranted officers reduce by 318.
But figures up to 2015 show that even more officer posts will go, with a total of 544 fewer officers patrolling the streets in four years’ time.
The force is also likely to lose 185 community support officers, placing an even greater strain on already overworked officers. Civilian job losses will rise as well, with 19 extra redundancies.
Northumbria Police was tasked with a £57m budget reduction last year. The force still has to find £23m of additional savings.
Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell, a former Home Office minister, said the force would struggle to preserve services in light of the increased job losses.
He said: “These figures are far worse than earlier predictions and will see the force lose around 40% more officers than first suggested.
“On top of that we find out that PCSOs numbers will also be getting cut. The figures show that the claim by the force that fewer officers can deliver the same standards is increasing incredible.
“But these are decisions made by the Government, who are obviously cutting too far and too fast.”