In his report, Dr Brain challenged claims by ministers that the cuts can be largely absorbed by "back office" efficiency savings with little impact on front line services.
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There is no question the police will still have the resources to do their important work”
End Quote Home Office spokeswoman
He predicts a total of 16,000 front line posts could be lost, which is around the same number of officers called in to deal with the unrest in London last week.
"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 front line being unaffected," he said.
He said the growth in officer numbers since 2004 had been "principally to enable neighbourhood, or community, policing".
Dr Brain, who is an honorary senior research fellow at the Institute, concluded: "It is likely it will be in neighbourhood policing where the greatest impact will be felt. Police services and officers' morale are both likely to suffer."
The Home Office said it was sticking by its decision to reduce police spending in order to reduce the UK's budget deficit.
A spokeswoman said the "urgent need" to take action to address the budget deficit was "clear from events across the world right now".
She said: "The reductions in the police budget for the spending review period are manageable.
"There is no question the police will still have the resources to do their important work."
The spokeswoman added that at the end of the spending review period forces will still have enough officers to deploy in the numbers seen during last week's riots across England.
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