In response to an article that appeared on BBC on-line which stated ‘Wiltshire Police to lose 173 officers over three years’ Chief Constable of Wiltshire Patrick Geenty says:
“I have made it very clear to the Commissioner (Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon) in initial conversations that although it may be possible to run Wiltshire Police with 1,000 officers, it is certainly not something that I am happy with.
"I believe it would be very hard for us to maintain the level of service we currently do with 1,000 officers and that is one of the reasons why I urged our Commissioner to put in for a higher increase in the policing element of the council tax than the 1.99 per cent that has been agreed.
“Operating with 1,000 officers would not only mean it may potentially be hard to maintain services, but would also be very difficult indeed for our officers and staff.
“We have had to be very innovative in re-organising the way we deliver policing in Wiltshire to meet the demanding cuts that are required of us by Government.
“I have a firm view of the number of police officers currently needed to police Wiltshire and we will maintain our present number of police officers in the county until such time that the review of our operational model has been completed. At that stage I will be very firm in advising the Commissioner of the optimum number of officers we need to police Wiltshire safely in the future.
“Furthermore, the decrease of 173 officers that has been referred to is in fact over a period of six years (2010/11 to 2016/17).
"It was agreed in the Commissioners Police and Crime plan (March 2013) that the number of Police Officers we required was 1062 and that is the number we currently have today on our establishment. We have also recently re-opened police recruitment processes in order to maintain this.”