National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Sara Thornton said:
“Whatever the impact of budget cuts, we would never accept a change to our most basic principle – the Peelian idea that police are the public and the public are the police. We could not have policing in the UK without public consent. Hard measures such as water cannon and tear gas will only ever be used to protect people when all other methods have failed.
“The loss of 34,000 officers and staff since 2010 has been extremely tough for the service, and even tougher for those people who have lost their jobs. We have to accept we will need to operate with fewer people but we will embrace and make better use of technology to maintain ties with our communities and be as efficient and effective as possible. We will also work more closely with partners in social services, health and the support services to prevent crime and reduce demand on the police service.