More than 60 cops to disappear from Herts?

HERTFORDSHIRE could lose more than 60 police officers within the next year, as the county’s police authority looks to save a further �9 million.

Hertfordshire Police Authority has launched its Strategic Policing Plan for 2012/15, in which it promises to keep county crime levels low despite crippling financial constraints.

The authority has to make savings of �38.5m by 2015 – and that means cutting 102 workers within the next year.

Budgeted target staffing levels have been reduced from 3,900 in 2011/12 to 3,798 in 2012/13 – a reduction of 62 officers and 41 police staff, but with an additional PCSO.

Nevertheless, the authority is confident it can still handle the upcoming Diamond Jubilee and Olympic celebrations.

Stuart Nagler, Hertfordshire Police Authority vice-chairman, said: “Hertfordshire has a strong performing force.

“Levels of crime have already dropped by a further six per cent since the same period last year, and we want to make sure this excellent performance continues.

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“Despite having to make savings of �38.5million by 2015 I have every confidence that the Chief Constable and his team will rise to the challenge and achieve the required savings whilst continuing to keep Hertfordshire safe and free from harm.”

Chief Constable Andy Bliss said: “I have every confidence that the constabulary will continue to reduce crime, catch more criminals and keep people safe, despite the financial and operational challenges ahead.

“Our focus for 2012/13 is on fighting crime and anti-social behaviour, developing our local service and policing a uniquely challenging summer in 2012.

“This summer encompasses the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, Euro 2012, huge music events at Knebworth and in Hitchin and, of course, the Olympic Torch Relay through the region as well as the Olympic Games themselves, with our Lee Valley Park in Hertfordshire, and providing mutual aid to London and Surrey venues.”