A former South Yorkshire police officer, now the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, fears cuts to police budgets will put lives at risk.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who was born and educated in Sheffield and joined South Yorkshire Police in 1979 and became a District Commander, issued his warning after saying he expects further reductions in budgets after the 2015 general election.
He said mergers of forces could be a potential solution.
“There’s a bigger risk to public safety if we don’t take radical action,” he said.
“We’ve saved hundreds of millions already, but from 2016 onwards it will be much harder.”
He suggested culling forces in England and Wales and creating nine regional super-forces.
Hogan-Howe said that others involved in keeping the public safe are also facing large cuts, suggesting agencies work together more.
“Our partners face their own cost pressures, and the big concern is that if we don’t work together, with a shared view of the risks, public safety will suffer.”