CHESHIRE Police could lose 250 officers over the next two years due to further budget cuts.

In a joint statement, PCC David Keane and acting chief constable Janette McCormick said that a further £12 million of savings could be needed within two years.

The statement said: "Police funding and the impacts of reducing budgets year on year law and order are currently very high on the public agenda.

"Despite saving over £60 million since 2010, Cheshire Constabulary estimates that it will be required by the Government to make a further £12 million of savings in the next two years.

"This will have a significant impact on the availability of front-line resources and on the delivery of operational services to the public of Cheshire."

Citing reduced budgets and increased demand, the pair are now assessing 'the extent of further resource reductions on key operational service' as part of Mr Keane's budget-setting process.

The statement added: "This could mean reducing police officer numbers by 250 over the next two years, which is approximately a further 12 per cent reduction.

"Over recent years the Constabulary has faced significant financial challenges, despite this almost half of the £60 million savings found since 2010 have been delivered through non-pay budgets, which has meant that Cheshire Constabulary has been able to limit the reduction in police officer, PCSOs and police staff numbers, compared to many other forces.

"According to national figures, there were 135 fewer police officers in March 2018 in Cheshire than there were in March 2010, which equates to a 6 per cent reduction.

"Nationally, the reduction in police officer numbers has been 14 per cent, and across the north west, excluding Cheshire, the reduction has been 21 per cent."

The constabulary's efficiency and financial plans have been assessed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services each year, consistently gaining 'good' and 'outstanding' ratings.