Top cop shares fear over cuts to budget

THE highest ranking Derbyshire police officer has said he shares the concerns of officers in the county over their efforts to maintain and improve the force’s service in light of planned Government budget cuts.

Chief Constable Mick Creedon responded to a Police Federation survey this month which revealed 98 per cent of the county’s officers questioned believe morale had fallen as a result of proposed cuts and 85 per cent believed cutting officer numbers would have a detrimental effect on crime levels.

The survey recorded that 72 per cent of Derbyshire officers questioned believed their workload had increased or would increase and 87 per cent questioned believed there would be a decline in service delivery.

He said: “The facts show police officers who are really committed to providing the best service to the public are really concerned about the impact of the cuts we are having to make.

“It’s not inevitable crime will rise but the reductions in the workforce here will mean that some services will suffer.”

The cuts were announced at the same time as changes to pensions and a review of police pay and conditions, with the survey revealing about 90 per cent of Derbyshire officers questioned believed changes would force some to leave.

Home Secretary Theresa May claimed savings should not affect frontline services and said it was right to consider terms and conditions.

Chief Con Creedon added: “We’re doing everything we can to maintain and improve the visible and frontline resources but I share concerns about maintaining and improving services to the public.”

He also said he understood salary and pension concerns but knows officers will not let this get in the way of service. The federation – which campaigns for officers’ welfare – made its survey available to 139,000 members and got a 30 per cent response.