Chief Constable Sara Thornton has warned Thames Valley Police may not be able to continue to protect the public if cuts deepen.

A Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) meeting yesterday heard that the force had cut £58m from its annual budget of more than £400m a year through efficiency savings.

But speaking after the meeting, Ms Thornton said: “The concern is if the level of cut in Government grant continues it will get increasingly difficult to protect the frontline and the people of Thames Valley.”

PCC Anthony Stansfeld also said policing the region’s growing population could be a concern, adding: “Our biggest challenge is rising population with falling budgets.”