10,000-name petition against funding fall

George Osborne announces his review of Government spending on Wednesday
George Osborne announces his review of Government spending on Wednesday

A petition to save Lancashire Police from savage budget cuts has been signed by more than 10,000 people.

The milestone comes on the eve of Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement, when he will announce the outcome of the Treasury’s spending review.

I want my children to grow up somewhere they feel safe

He has previously refused to rule out cutting funding for police and departments have been warned to prepare for cuts of between 25 and 40 per cent.

Cuts on that scale could wipe between £45m and £72m from Lancashire Police’s budget.

Rob Richards, founder of the Save Lancs Police online petition, said the potential impact of the cuts “‘scared’ him.

“I have got two young kids,” he said. “I want my children to grow up somewhere they feel safe.”

As an employee of the force, he has seen the impact of austerity measures so far but said protecting jobs was not his priority when starting the petition.

He added: “My biggest concern is for my community and my family.

“They are basing these cuts on crime statistics but crime is a very small part of what the police do.

“Things like suicidal people, missing people, the public don’t really see.”

Now the petition has hit 10,000 signatures, it qualifies for a response from the Government. Depending on the outcome, Mr Richards said he will decide where to take the campaign next.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw and the Lancashire Police Federation have both called for the Government to drop plans to cut police budgets.