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Crime could soar after police cuts

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There may be an increased crime rate following the Government's decision to cut police budgets by 20%, tens of thousands of officers have warned.

A survey of officers across England and Wales has suggested that the cuts will lower the morale of the forces, leading to a poorer public service.

The decline in the forces' service delivery gives homeowners all the more reason to ensure they have a cost-effective home insurance policy.

The results have been revealed just days ahead of Home Secretary Theresa May's keynote speech to unhappy rank-and-file officers at the annual Police Federation conference.

Out of the 42,000 officers questioned, more than 98% of respondents said morale has fallen amid warnings of falling police numbers and possible cuts to take-home wage packets.

The federation survey was available to all 139,000 members between March 11 and April 15.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the federation of England and Wales, said research has shown that officers "feel they are being hit from all sides" by the spending cuts.

He added: "The Government appears intent on pushing terms and conditions back decades which will undoubtedly lead to increased levels of crime and a poorer service for the public."

Over 85% of officers believe cutting numbers will have a negative effect on crime levels, with 78% of respondents saying there is already an increase in their workload, and 91% saying there will be poorer public service.

According to the Government however, cuts to policing can be achieved without increasing crime levels.

Mr McKeever said: "Let's improve policing, not destroy it. The Government must listen to these views from the front line and give the public and the police the opportunity to shape a police service that is appropriate for the future and able to deliver what is expected of it.

"The federation is not opposed to change and accept that policing must play its part in public sector cuts. But there is a right way and a wrong way to reform. If this Government truly believes in considered and informed change for the better, then they should have the courage of their convictions and establish a royal commission on policing."

© Press Association 2011