Opinion Former Article

PSAEW: Protecting the public remains our priority

Following the Chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement, Chief Superintendent Derek Barnett, President of the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales said:

'There has been much speculation about how the cuts will affect the Police Service. Today's announcement now begins to make the picture clearer, although there is a good deal of detail to work through over the coming weeks.

'The Police Service understands and recognises that these cuts affect the whole of the public sector and that policing, whilst a vital public service, must accept its fair share of the pain.

'Our job now as the senior operational leaders in policing will be to work with chief officers and Police Authorities to implement these cuts in a way that minimises the impact on front line services; to continue to protect and serve the public, and to provide the support and leadership to our police officers and staff who, quite understandably, face an uncertain future in terms of their jobs, pay and pensions. However, the public should be in no doubt that there will be fewer police officers and staff in the future although we would urge chief officers not to look immediately to staff cuts as a reaction to today's news.

'I am confident that we have the will and determination to tackle bureaucracy, find better ways of working with the rest of the criminal justice system, and improving the use of technology. We must explore all such avenues before staffing levels are cut.

'However, successful policing depends upon good partnership working with local authorities, and the wider criminal justice system and as they too will face cuts in their budgets, we will watch carefully to see how funding for community safety, prisons, probation and courts impacts upon policing.

'The overriding message to our communities must be that while we continue to seek to protect policing budgets, our priority remains protecting the public.'

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