London, July 20(ANI): A British watchdog report has raised fresh concerns over the police's ability to protect the public, after it disclosed that just one in ten police officers is free to tackle crime at any given time, as the majority of them are either off work or tied down with other duties.
The 'Valuing the Police, policing in an age of austerity' report, by Sir Denis O'Connor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, also found that on any one day there are just 5,000 officers across the country ready to respond to emergency 999 calls.
It also found that there are more officers available for duty on a quiet Monday morning than the peak hours of a Friday night.
The report comes at a time when public services, including the police are facing severe budget cuts of potentially 25 per cent or more.
Talking about the report, Roy Rudham, UK Neighbourhood Watch Trust chairman, said that the figures were remarkable and very alarming.
"My members would be extremely concerned and I do get a sense from them that the police are moving away from us, because of resources and pressures," The Telegraph quoted Rudham, as saying.
"Even with all the increase in resources that we have heard about people still say they do see a visible police presence on the streets," he added.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Police officers do an important job, but this raises real concerns about management and efficiency.
"More needs to be done to cut needless bureaucracy in the police force and get real police officers out on the front line where they can catch criminals and reassure the community," he added. (ANI)