New crime commissioner calls for re-think on cuts
DERBYSHIRE'S newly-elected police and crime commissioner has said he will take on the Government over policing budget cuts.
Alan Charles, who was elected last month, said he was calling for a "radical re-think" of the cost-saving strategy. He said the cuts had already resulted in the loss of thousands of front-line police officers across the UK.
And he said further cuts in Derbyshire would leave the region in a "very vulnerable position in the future".
All of the new commissioners are meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May today.
Mr Charles said: "Vast and relentless cuts of the scale we have seen over the past few years are eventually going to have a detrimental impact on performance.
"This will ultimately undermine the good work which has taken place to build confidence and trust in the force and ensure residents living in the county feel safe.
"There are now almost 7,000 fewer front-line officers on the country's streets – almost 150 fewer in this county alone. My priority is to keep the communities of Derbyshire safe, which is why I believe it is vital commissioners address these issues with the Home Secretary and make our opposition to these unacceptable cuts abundantly clear."
Mr Charles said he and his fellow commissioners would also be "seeking assurances" from the Government about the consultation for the 2013-2014 police budget.
He said he wanted there to be a "two-way conversation" rather than "imposed reductions". And he said he would be asking for "clarity" on any intentions to involve the private sector in policing.