West Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) says sweeping job losses are “inevitable” as the force faces further major budget cuts.
Mark Burns-Williamson was speaking after a report on the force’s current financial position said bosses “urgently” needed to come up with plans to lose 190 staff.
The force has had its budget slashed by more than 20 per cent since 2011 and is anticipating further sweeping cuts in the next four years.
A report produced for the police and crime panel, which scrutinises the work of the PCC, said that in the last year the force had “relied heavily on police staff vacancies to deliver savings”.
But it added that it now “urgently needs to identify robust, recurrent plans to remove 190 posts from the organisation”.
It is unclear which posts are under threat – and Mr Burns-Williamson said there could be even more bad news with an expected “double whammy” of further government cuts and changes to the formula used to decide how much funding each force gets.
He said the changes could see money diverted from “more demanding and challenging environments” like West Yorkshire to more rural policing areas.
Mr Burns-Williamson said: “There appears to be a failure in government to recognise the changing demands and complexities around what the police face and the huge realignment of resources required to properly safeguard the vulnerable within our communities.
“The cuts they are proposing could be as high as 40 per cent within the Home Office and I think they are taking a huge gamble by choosing not to protect the policing budgets as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review – that is a massive amount of money to take out of the policing budget.”
He added: “With these scale cuts many more job losses are inevitable on top of the 2,000 police officers and staff we have already lost.”