Derbyshire’s top cop has warned the county’s police force is being plunged back in time because of “unprecedented” budget cuts.
Chief constable Mick Creedon said the next four years will see hundreds more police officers and other staff lose their jobs at Derbyshire Constabulary – along with station closures.
Mr Creedon said this would have an impact on policing but insisted the force would be able to respond to calls from the public.
The organisation needs to save £20million due to cuts in its central Government grant.
Mr Creedon said: “The level of cuts that the police service is dealing with is totally unprecedented in my 35 years of service.
“We have already lost more than 450 officers and staff through the first four years of the austerity programme and we anticipate a similar number over the next four years.
“It is a stark fact that within four years Derbyshire Constabulary will probably be a similar size to what it was some 25 or 30 years ago.
“It is impossible for this not to have an impact on the way we deliver policing to the one million people who live in Derbyshire.
“Despite this our commitment to neighbourhood policing remains high and we will always be able to service emergency calls through the provision of reactive response officers across the entire county, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We are not complacent and despite the cuts I remain completely confident that the public of Derbyshire will still see an outstanding service.
“My colleagues and I wish that we didn’t have to deal with these huge cuts to our policing budget and we wish that we were able to expand the service further and do more – as the public tell us time and time again this is what they want to see,” he added.