Cambridgeshire Police funding cut by �1.2 million

CAMBRIDGESHIRE Police’s funding has been cut by �1.2 million.

Chief Constable Julie Spence admitted severe reductions in Government grants would cause “increasing concerns” for the future of police services.

She also said there could be an impact on frontline services as the force imposes an immediate recruitment freeze and seeks to review officers’ overtime.

And Cambridgeshire’s top officer, who retires in September, confessed: “We weren’t quite expecting the significant trimming of this year’s Government grant to the force.”

However she moved to reassure the public that the constabulary would safeguard community policing.

She said: “However grim the clampdown on spending becomes our priority - indeed our duty - is to ensure we continue to police communities and neighbourhoods at today’s levels.”

But she said: “That will not be easy. If further cuts come there is no doubt that, despite our best efforts, there will be an impact on frontline services.”

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Chief Constables met Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street this week to learn more about their forces’ financial futures.

When they got wind of the cutbacks, Cambridgeshire Police decided to stop recruitment “for the foreseeable future”.

Ms Spence, who hands over to Hertfordshire Police deputy chief constable Simon Parr in the autumn, also asked officers to conduct a “root and branch review” of staff overtime.

But she sought to protect non-officers by saying crime scene investigators, call takers and IT workers are “all part of the modern day frontline”.

“The officer or PCSO on the street could not do their job without these key people behind them,” she added.

Saying that more work would be done to make Cambridgeshire Constabulary more efficient, Ms Spence said: “Few would argue with any move to try to make the service we offer as effective as possible.”

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