Gloucestershire is facing a crime epidemic thanks to the combined effects of government cuts on police spending and the Olympic Games, warns the county branch of the Police Federation.

Ian Anderson, chairman of the Gloucestershire branch of the federation, says the county force is to suffer a cut in manpower equivalent to the entire police force in the city of Gloucester, from 1,383 officers to 1,184 – a drop of 199.

And he warns that the loss of these offices coupled with the numbers drafted out to mount security for the Olympics will even further cut the force’s ability to maintain law and order at home and that city and town centre businesses may find themselves on the receiving end of crime.

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