BUDGET cuts could mean Cheshire Police has to axe 250 front-line police officer roles, it has emerged.

Despite saving over £60 million since 2010, the constabulary estimates that it will be required by the Government to make a further £12 million of savings in the next two years.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane and Acting Chief Constable, Janette McCormick released In a joint statement this morning (Thursday, October 11).

In it they say that the cuts will have a “significant impact on the availability of front-line resources and on the delivery of operational services to the public of Cheshire”.

ACC McCormick is now said to be asessing the extent of further resource reductions on key operational services for Mr Keane to consider as part of the budget setting process.

This could mean reducing police officer numbers by 250 over the next two years – a further reduction of around 12 per cent.

The pair said: “Over recent years the Constabulary has faced significant financial challenges, despite this almost half of the £60 million savings found since 2010 have been delivered through non-pay budgets, which has meant that Cheshire Constabulary has been able to limit the reduction in police officer, PCSOs and Police Staff numbers, compared to many other forces.

“According to national figures, there were 135 fewer police officers in March 2018 in Cheshire than there were in March 2010, which equates to a 6 per cent reduction. Nationally, the reduction in police officer numbers has been 14 per cent, and across the North West, excluding Cheshire, the reduction has been 21 per cent.

“HMICFRS has assessed the Constabulary’s efficiency and financial plans as part of its PEEL assessment for each of the past four years and has graded the Constabulary as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ every time.

“Despite this track record, pressures on policing, through reduced budgets and increased demand, are growing to the level that the Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane is increasingly concerned as to whether it can maintain the already over-stretched ‘thin blue line’ for much longer.”