All 43 of the police forces in England and Wales are going to face budget cuts of around five percent, with more to be expected after the general election. The police forces will have to make careful reductions in front line services, with many planning to reduce the numbers of police officers in their forces in order to accommodate the new budget.
One of the police forces in Wales, Gwent Police, has announced that it is going to have to close down one of its units, the Onyx unit, which is currently dedicated to helping victims of sexual offences. This unit was first established in 2009, and has received much praise for the work that it carries out, as well as for the positive accomplishments that it achieves. However, in order to help the police force reduce their deficit, the unit will have to be disbanded. The deficit is projected to reach £18.9 million by 2019.
South Yorkshire police forces will see cuts of around £49 million, whilst police forces in Kent are preparing for a budget cut of £61 million over the next four years. For Merseyside police forces, the forecasted cuts are expected to reach £47.5 million between 2016 and 2019.
These severe budget cuts to such an important public service do not come as a surprise. Since 2011, the Home Office has been cutting their funding when it comes to police forces, and it has dropped by about 20 percent, which is the equivalent of £600 million.