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Cambridgeshire police warn of migration squeeze

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Cambridgeshire Constabulary called for extra funding to help it cope with its rising local population due to an influx of immigrant workers.

It says central funding must reflect population changes due to high levels of migration in recent years, mostly from eastern Europe.

In a report, it claims that 69,000 workers from newly acceded EU states will swell Cambridgeshire's population over the next nine years, accounting for 73% of growth in the county.

‘Not enough officers’

The force says this will see 183 officers serve 100,000 members of the public compared to the national average of 266.

"We've been short-changed for a number of years, losing money as the population continues to grow," said chief constable Julie Spencer.

She added: "We now deal with people from many different countries, speaking more than 90 different languages. While the economic benefits of growth are clear, we need to maintain the basic public services infrastructure which means increasing the number of officers we have."

Police Authority chair Keith Walters added that the county just wanted "fair treatment".

"In some metropolitan areas people are paying as little as 17% for policing in their council tax because the government grant is so high," he said. "In the east we pay around 35% of our local bills for policing to make up the shortfall."

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