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Government cuts to send police resources to 80s levels
POLICE resources in Dorset will soon be at the same level as in the 1980s due to government cuts.
The force is set to lose another 322 staff, including 162 front-line officers, on top of the 270 posts that have already been axed.
The latest cuts are revealed in a letter from Dorset Police Chief Constable Martin Baker and Dorset Police Authority chairman Michael Taylor.
It said: “The Coalition Government’s comprehensive spending review has effectively meant budget cuts in Dorset of approximately £20m by March, 2015.
“The one-off council tax freeze grant, pressure to restrict further increases and potential for more cuts could see this figure rise substantially.
“On our current projections, we will soon be at a resource level last seen in the early 1980s.”
Despite these figures the letter also reports a 14-year low in recorded crime in Dorset.
Clive Chamberlain, chairman of Dorset Police Federation, said: “As the cuts bite our service will diminish, crime on the whole has been coming down but certain types are on the rise.
“I think the agenda is to privatise and bring in a company such as G4S and we have all seen where that will take us, their Olympic coverage has been scandalous.
“The government had a choice not to go so far and it has set us up to fail.”
The warnings come at the same time a report was published by the Royal Society of Arts suggesting members of the public should receive training to deal with anti-social behaviour, aggressive situations and conflict.
Mr Chamberlain said: “It’s the most stupid thing I’ve ever heard. Policing is meant to be for the public not by the public.
“People could end up badly hurt if they get involved in a violent situation. The suggestion the public should get involved is idiotic and full of danger.”
According to the letter there will be hundreds fewer officers in Dorset to meet budget demands.
“There are already 270 fewer Dorset Police officers and staff, including 56 front line PCs and six PCSOs, working for the public since the spending review was announced,” the letter states.
“The current structure has to reduce by around another 162 police officer and 160 police staff posts by 2014/15.”