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Tony Hogg challenges Home Secretary over 'crying wolf' comments

Theresa May has told the Police Federation to stop ‘scaremongering’ over the effects of cuts while crime is falling.

Tony Hogg, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall has challenged the Home Secretary over her “crying wolf” comments about the state of police resources.
Theresa May has told the Police Federation to stop ‘scaremongering’ over the effects of cuts while crime is falling.
Mr Hogg said, “The Home Secretary needs to understand that policing is facing a crisis.  Reductions in funding are forcing compromises in all aspects of policing work that threaten the very basis of British policing.”
“A police service will always be provided, regardless of the level of funding, but reduced resources mean that the public risk losing touch with the police as neighbourhood teams become reduced or even extinct.  Crime may be reducing, but demand on policing services is not.  For example, significant extra resources are now being devoted to the prevention and detection of child abuse.  This has little to do with the levels of recorded crime and more about keeping the vulnerable in our society safe.    If we can’t afford preventative work to ensure that vulnerable children and adults are kept safe there will be more victims.”
“The Police Service must continue to transform the way it works but it is nonsense to suggest that the levels of budget cuts that we face will not lead to reduced levels of service and greater risk for our communities.”
“In Devon and Cornwall we have been hit doubly hard as the Government’s funding formula takes no account of the massive influx of tourists into the two counties every year.”
Mr Hogg is currently overseeing, with the Chief Constable, a range of work to improve efficiency to mitigate funding reductions.  In March Mr Hogg entered into a Strategic Alliance with the Dorset Police to make savings approaching £10m.  Further innovative work is also being developed to try and offset the full impact of the budget reductions.   
Mr Hogg said “We are doing all we can to mitigate the budget reductions, but I am extremely concerned that key services, including the future of neighbourhood policing, are severely at risk.  I value the connection that the people of Devon and Cornwall have with their police force.  If we lose that, policing could be irreparably damaged.”