Tony Hogg's response to higher than expected cuts to police funding
Devon and Cornwall Police will have £9m less to spend next year following last week’s Home Office announcement on police funding.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg says the figure is more than expected as he and Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer battle to provide the most efficient police service despite continuing further budget reductions.
“These cuts are substantial and, have no doubt, they will impact on the way that Devon and Cornwall is policed over the coming years,” said Mr Hogg.
“We have been working very hard to prepare for these cuts by developing our work on a strategic alliance with Dorset but it is clear that we cannot lose 5% off our budget every year, for the next four years, without policing in the future being significantly changed.
“It means we must make lots of difficult choices to protect as much front line service as possible but these continued Government cuts leave us no choice but to explore issues such as reducing officer numbers, closing police stations and finding new ways for the public to deal with the police, including more automated systems.
“None of these choices are easy and many are unpalatable to both us and the public.
“But it is now impossible to absorb this level of budget reduction without an impact on the service provided to the people.
“In the coming year we have good plans in place to protect frontline policing but very soon I will start asking the public if they are content to see further service reductions or if they would rather pay more council tax to maintain high quality policing in Devon and Cornwall.
“This is a not a question for now but, next year, I will be consulting the public to assess their views on paying more for an improved policing service.
“The chief constable and I are working hard to try and reduce any damage to the service that these cuts will entail but there can be no doubt, services will reduce in the future unless we can find more money.