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 Local police powers 'threatened by cuts'

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Registration date : 2011-02-23

PostSubject: Local police powers 'threatened by cuts'   Wed 16 Nov 2011 - 15:15

Police jacket The Home Office said cuts were needed to help tackle the budget deficit
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England riots

* Analysis: The riots data so far
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Local services in England and Wales will be most affected by government cuts to the policing budget, according to a think tank report.

The Universities Police Science Institute estimates that the government grant for local policing will fall by 1.36bn over the next four years.

Report author Dr Timothy Brain expresses concern about whether forces could handle future unrest.

The Home Office said the changes imposed will be "manageable".

It said it will stick to its decision to cut police spending in order to reduce the budget deficit.

Dr Brain is the former chief constable of Gloucestershire, and Cardiff's Universities Police Science Institute is based on a partnership between Cardiff University, South Wales Police and the University of Glamorgan.

Dr Brain's study analysed the combined effect of last year's Spending Review, the police settlement grant and spending announcements by all 43 local police authorities.

It comes a week after rioting, looting and arson spread from London to parts of England, prompting a debate about the future ability to mobilise officers to deal with such disorder.

The Police Federation has said that if the riots had happened in a year's time forces would not have been able to deploy resources in the way they did and Labour leader Ed Miliband has urged the government to "think again" about police cuts.

But the prime minister has maintained that the aim was to cut bureaucracy and the visible policing presence would not be reduced.

"We will still be able to surge as many police officers on to the streets," he told MPs during a debate on the riots.

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