Ten officers leaving force every week

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Lancashire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner has revealed the number of officers leaving the county’s force.

Speaking after this week’s meeting of the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel at Blackburn Town Hall, Clive Grunshaw said 10 officers a week were leaving their jobs.

He said: “This is through natural waste, not any kind of redundancy.

“It’s people who are deciding to retire, or those who are stepping down for a number of reasons.”

Mr Grunshaw is asking panel members to approve his changes to the police element of the council tax precept.

He wants to increase the police precept by two per cent - around £2.6m - in order to pay for 50 more officers.

For a Band D homeowner, it would mean a council tax rise equivalent to £3 a year.

Mr Grunshaw said: “It’s important that we protect police numbers as much as we can, and that is what residents have been telling me at roadshows I’ve been attending.

“These extra officers would come in as Police Constables.

“They might be people completely new to the force, or people promoted from being PCSOs.”

Mr Grunshaw has rejected a one-off one per cent grant worth £1.3m from the Government, in return for freeze on the precept.

He claims that this would store up budget problems for years to come.

The Comprehensive Spending Review of 2010 left Lancashire Police having to make £43m of cuts, £31m of which have been found.

Police stations have been closed and more than 500 officer posts lost.

The force has an additional £6m to find before the additional £20m cuts just announced are looked at.

The Police and Crime Panel has until February 8 to return their decision on the proposals.