THE HIGHEST ranking Derbyshire police officer has stated he shares the concerns of officers in the county about maintaining and improving the force’s service to the public in light of Government budget cut proposals.
Chief Constable Mick Creedon was responding to concerns raised in a Police Federation survey, on Monday, May 16, which revealed 98per cent of the county’s officers questioned believe morale has fallen as a result of proposed cuts and 85per cent believe cutting officer numbers will have a detrimental effect on crime levels.
The survey recorded that 72per cent of Derbyshire officers questioned believe their workload has increased or will increase and 87per cent questioned believe there will be a decline in service delivery.
Chief Con Creedon said: “The facts show police officers who are really committed to providing the best service to the public are really concerned about the impact of the cuts we are having to make.
“It’s not inevitable crime will rise but the reductions in the workforce here will mean that some services will suffer.”
The Government cuts to be made over four years were announced at the same time as changes to pensions and a review of police pay and conditions, and the federation survey revealed about 90per cent of Derbyshire officers questioned believed these changes will force some to leave.
Government Home Secretary Theresa May claimed forces can make savings without affecting frontline services and said it was right to look at terms and conditions.
Chief Con Creedon added: “We’re doing everything we can to maintain and improve the visible and frontline resources but I share concerns about maintaining and improving services to the public.”
He also said he understood concerns over salary and pensions but knows officers will not let this issue get in the way of service to the county.
The Police Federation - which campaigns for officers’ welfare - released its survey figures during its national conference in Bournemouth this month. It was made available to 139,000 members and it gathered a 30per cent response.