If the government plan to slash budgets of up to 25% goes ahead, up to 40,000 front line police jobs may be at risk warned the police federation.
The federation which represents 140,000 police officers across the UK, has said job cuts are likely to result in rising crime rates in the next three to four years if the government failed to protect funding for the service like it has for the NHS.
In a survey of forces across the country, released today, the Police Federation revealed the level of job losses that individual forces are planning for.
Midlands Police has the most roles at risk in a single force, and could potentially lose 1,000 officers if the planned budget cuts of Ã‚Â£140 million do go ahead.
Lancashire expects to lose 600 officers, and Kent 500 officers, in the next four years. Meanwhile, up to 4,000 posts could be lost across London as funds are slashed.
All forces in the survey that said they expected to lose posts also said their ability to police the community would be negatively affected.
Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the federation, said: “We’ve done a survey of our branch boards around England and Wales and what they’re telling us is quite bleak.
“Forces will lose potentially hundreds of officers and nationwide that could be anything up to 40,000 officers within the next two, three or four years.”
Paul McKeever, chairman, said: “We expect the home secretary to wake up to the reality that there are going to be real consequences in the future if these cuts are made.
“The reality has come, the cuts are real and they are substantial. It will have a detrimental effect on the service we provide,” he added.
Budget cuts for the public sector will be confirmed in the government’s comprehensive spending review in mid-October.