New Cambs Chief Constable warns of no easy ride for criminals despite funding cuts

CAMBRIDGESHIRE’S new Chief Constable has warned that less money in the pot will not mean an easy time for criminals.

In his first interview since taking charge, Simon Parr this week said the force would remain focused despite the tough challenges ahead.

“I will not have this organisation focus solely on saving money,” he said. “We have to make sure the public is safe. Just because we have less money does not mean criminals are safe. We will use the money and resources we do have to become smarter.

“I want there to be no hiding places in this constabulary for criminals and I want criminals to be warned that we are coming for them.”

A few days into his new job, Mr Parr was already painting a brighter picture for the future of the force than former Chief Constable Julie Spence. Mrs Spence, who retired on September 5, had warned of Armageddon in the face of Government funding cuts of up to 40 per cent.

The force has an annual budget of �130million, but fears over the next four years it could lose �33million of this.

Although, Mr Parr, 49, said he recognised the tough financial situation, he admitted it was inevitable that there would be fewer people in the organisation but added that not all was bleak.

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He said: “Yes, there will be fewer of us delivering policing, but policing is policing. The public needs protecting and crime needs investigating and our commitment to that won’t change. It’s about how we can deliver policing in a new way with less money.

“The talk of cuts is everywhere but I’m not prepared to let the constabulary lose focus.”

Mr Parr said that policing would “look very different” over the coming years, with more use of volunteers such as special constables and more collaborative work with other forces on high-level specialist services two of his ideas.

However, he said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge. If I did not think I could do it then I would not have taken the job.”

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