Police officers could become less visible on the streets because police forces aren't managing their budgets properly in the face of funding cuts, warns a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, covered in The Telegraph.
The report says:
Policing in five years' time is likely to look different to now: smaller, less costly and perhaps less visible.
Steve White, Chairman of the Police Federation, said:
This report should be the catalyst to a full and proper public debate on what the public want from their police service in the next five years.
The time is right to be considering a proper review of policing, what it delivers, how it delivers it, with whom it works with and how it is funded.
The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has is actively pursuing such a debate. Our Director Richard Garside has written a number of pieces about how cuts to police budgets and officer levels offer an opportunity to rebalance public policy, away from a bloated police force which deals with social problems well beyond it's competence. Read more about this work here.