By Max Clarke

Government plans to shed 34,000 jobs from UK police forces have been uniformly blasted by trades unions.

The cuts, as part of the forces’ ‘Adapting to Austerity’ programme, are intended to shave 14% from the budgets of all of the UK’s 43 forces. Whilst most of the cuts are involce ‘back office’ staff, though frontline police will see numbers drop by 2%.

"Unite has warned that deep cuts to police staff jobs, pay and conditions will devastate morale and put a strain on the force, as more police will have to back fill the roles previously done by police staff,” said the national offices of the unite union.

Public sector union, UNISON’s national officer for police staff, Ben Priestly called the plans ‘seriously flawed’:

“Cuts will lead to less crime being detected, as police officers are taken off the beat to cover essential police staff roles. Women will also be the hardest hit, as they represent 65% of police staff.

“Putting police officers, who cannot be made redundant, into staff jobs may double the cost of these roles, as officers earn around twice police staff salaries. This hardly meets the government’s call to save money.

“The collapse of Southern Cross proves that outsourcing is a risky business and major police outsourcings have failed to produce savings.

“The report highlights the huge cuts across the board, which will reverse all the good work done to modernise the police workforce since 2003, when staff were recruited to make sure officers had more time on the front line.

“The Government must reconsider the police funding settlement and stop these huge cuts, which threaten the safety of our communities.”

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