GREATER Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has expressed concern that police numbers in England and Wales have fallen to their lowest level in more than a decade.

Tony Lloyd was responding to Home Office figures which indicate that the number of police officers in Greater Manchester have fallen to their lowest level in 11 years.

Mr Lloyd said: “We all recognise the importance of driving efficiency within the police service, and doing this - alongside working more intelligently with partner agencies - has allowed police to achieve significant cuts in crime while reducing costs.

“But the scale and speed of the reductions that have been imposed on forces is unprecedented and reckless. Here in Greater Manchester there will be 1,520 fewer officers by 2015 than there were just three years ago.

“These figures are a challenge to the government. They have to realise that they have taken too much. More cuts will seriously jeopardise the gains we’ve made and damage our communities.

“Despite this, I am committed to working with the Chief Constable to ensure that Greater Manchester Police remains at the heart of our neighbourhoods with an active and visible presence on our streets.”