MORE than 200 police jobs could be axed in Somerset as part of "painful" Government spending cuts, it has emerged.
Avon and Somerset Police has to save almost £15million over the next two years following Chancellor George Osborne's announcement that policing budgets are to be cut.
It has put more than 200 police posts at risk and could mean a rise in council tax.
Police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said today (June 28): “There is no question that cuts of this scale will be painful to the organisation and will be felt by residents.
“Finding further significant savings of nearly £15 million over the next two years will mean fundamental changes to policing and tough decisions about what we do in the future.
"It will also mean fewer police officers and staff, with over 200 more policing posts now at risk to meet the required savings."
During the Government's spending review on Wednesday, Mr Osborne outlined a budget cut of "less than 6%" for police and also said the Home Office resource budget will be cut by 6%.
Ms Mountstevens said she will carry out a "full discussion" with residents about any possible increased to the policing part of the council tax to protect front-line officers.
She added: “Over the coming weeks, we will be working through the detail of the Government’s announcement.
“Clearly, there are huge challenges ahead however the priority remains to keep residents safe and feeling safe and that will be my focus.”
Earlier this year, the County Gazette reported how fewer front-line officers were operating across the force area.
Home Office statistics published in February showed the number of officers dropped from 3,109 to 2,957 between September, 2011, and September, 2012 - a fall of 152 and the tenth biggest decline nationwide.
People are being asked to have their say on the policing part of the council tax online at www.consultation.avonandsomerset.police.uk