Warwickshire’s new deputy police commissioner has laid out a vision for the future and warned that cuts ‘must not’ hit the most vulnerable.
Deputy police and crime commissioner Dr Eric Wood spoke to members of Kenilworth’s community forum this month where he said despite tough times ahead, he is adamant that budget cuts will not hit front line policing.
Dr Wood explained that cuts to public funds was “the biggest issue” facing the county’s police force.
“These cuts could see 15,000 fewer police officers on our streets and 17,000 fewer support staff nationally,” he said. “Warwickshire will not be affected by cuts.
“We have made pledges and will keep our officers where they are.
“We are actively in talks with Warwickshire County Council to understand where cuts may occur and see if we can try to find a way to prevent hardship to the most vulnerable.
“This is a big issue, and cuts to services like mental health and possibly care services could see the pressures on police increasing as people have nowhere else to turn
“Around 80 per cent of policing is now dealing with non crime issues as people are coming to the police as a last resort when they feel they have nowhere left to turn.”
He said that police stations may take the brunt of the cuts, but that the focus is on the future of front line policing.
Members heard that the number of PCSOs have increased from 80 to around 100 and that special constables will almost double to 400 by 2016 in what was “excellent” news for seeing a police presence on the streets.