Search: police reforms funding cuts Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
More than 34,000 police jobs will be lost as part of Government cuts, inspectors have ruled.
About 16,200 police officers will be axed by 2015 amid fears crime could go up by 3%, a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said.
Up to 1,800 community support officers and 16,100 police staff will also go as part of an overall reduction of 14%, the study of 43 forces across England and Wales said.
Protecting frontline policing will be "very challenging" over the next 18 months, inspectors found.
"Forces will have to transform their efficiency if they are to protect frontline services," the report added.
Roger Baker, of HMIC, said it "went without saying" that forces are facing their biggest financial challenge in a generation.
HMIC chief Sir Denis O'Connor added: "The police service must adapt to these changing times in order to deliver the best deal for taxpayers and they will need some support to do this."