Thursday, August 18, 2011

UK govt. to axe 16,000 police officers

Source: Press TV

British government's cuts in police funding will cause 16,000 frontline police officers to lose their jobs making the Metropolitan Police even more vulnerable.

A study conducted by Cardiff's Universities Police Science Institute revealed that cuts to the police budget would cause local policing budget to drop by £1.36 billion that equals to 14 percent.

Dr Timothy Brain, a former chief constable and the author of the report, expressed concern over the efficiency of the police after the budget cuts take effect as he predicted that the neighborhood and community policing would be hit hardest.

''Ministers expect the brunt of such losses to fall in the so-called back office, but with as many as 16,000 police officer posts going, there is little prospect of the frontline being unaffected,” he said.

During the unprecedented unrest that afflicted Britain last week, the government ordered the Metropolitan police to deploy 16,000 riot police officers on the streets of London to silence the angry protesters.

However, the report estimated that the government's cuts would result in 16,000 frontline police officers losing their jobs.

This coincidence comes as relations between the Metropolitan Police and the government have started to become more bitter as they have engaged in an escalating war of words.

The clash between the police and the government started after Cameron boasted about the tactics introduced at the Cobra meeting he chaired and criticized the initial tactics employed by the police.

Nevertheless, the Metropolitan Police hit back at the government's officials when the president of the Association of British Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, described politicians' role in tackling the unrest as an “irrelevance” deriding the eventual decision of top politicians to cut short their luxurious holidays.

Moreover, the Metropolitan Police acting Commissioner, Tim Godwin, openly criticized the government when he condemned the politicians “who weren't there” but passed judgments about Metropolitan Police's tactics in handling the unrest.

Meanwhile, estimates show that around 200 police stations would be closed and 1,800 police community support officers would lose their jobs due to the cuts to the police budget.

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