Cuts will mean a rise in crime

John O'Reilly, lancashire chairman of the Police Federation
John O'Reilly, lancashire chairman of the Police Federation
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POLICE cuts will see fewer bobbies on the beat in Blackpool and “more opportunity for crime”.

That is the warning from John O’Reilly, Lancashire chairman of the Police Federation, who says the Government’s radical cuts will put the police force “back 30 years”.

His warning came as an independent review of police pay by former rail regulator Tom Winsor as published.

Mr O’Reilly said: “We think it is too much, too soon.

“This Government is going to put us back 30 years. We understand in these austere times there is need to have a look at what everyone is getting and make sure no money is being spent in a silly way.

“However, officers are being remunerated for what they do. We are not paid all that well.

“Blackpool and the Fylde coast is one of the areas where they will see a reduction in police officers on the streets.

“They have the biggest tourism industry in Lancashire and there are going to be fewer officers there to look after visitors and there will be more opportunity to commit crime. Crime will increase.”

The Police Federation in Lancashire also disagrees with the new shift system which sees officers working eight hours instead of ten.

Mr O’Reilly added: “They have taken 31 days off them – it means officers have more travelling to work and more child care to think about.

“They say we are going to see a reduction in salaries too.

“We have asked the Government to make us a special case. Officers are on duty 24/7 for 30 years.

“These are only recommendations by Tom Winsor which have to be ratified by the police board.

“We will be fighting to ensure they don’t scrap the conditions they gave us 30 years ago.”

The Winsor review, which was published as the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said 28,000 police jobs could be lost as a result of the Government’s 20 per cent budget cuts, outlined more than £1bn of savings that could be made.

Mr Winsor said most of this would be reinvested to give officers working night shifts and unsocial hours an extra 10 per cent over their hourly basic pay, but the taxpayer could still save £485m over three years,

Some officers could earn an extra £1,500 to £2,000, while the biggest losers would see their pay fall by between £3,000 and £4,000.

Lancashire Police’s Chief Constable Steve Finnigan said: “It is clear that significant changes to the remuneration and conditions of all staff are outlined within the report.

“I am now, along with other chief officers, going to take some time to read and consider the report in full.”

More details of how the cuts will impact Lancashire should be revealed by the force early next week.