Police officers were furious today after bosses told them to take the BUS in a bid to save cash.
Leicestershire Police officers have been ordered to use public transport or ride bicycles to carry out routine patrols after the force cut the number of cars.
The force, which is trying to save £15 million over four years, is slashing the number of patrol cars and those used by detectives from 483 to 443.
Police chiefs say the cuts will save the force £175,000 next year.
Beat bobbies and senior officers have been told to rely on buses and bicycles for transport.
Senior officers claim the cuts will not affect the force’s ability to respond to emergencies.
But furious beat bobbies today branded the move ”ludicrous”.
One Pc, who has been with the force for 15 years, said: ”Officers need to be able to get to emergencies quickly.
”How in God’s name are you expected to respond to a 999 call if you have to wait for a bus?
”It’s a ludicrous idea and a lot of officers feel their ability to the job properly is being sacrificed for the bottom line.”
But Inspector Richard Toone, commander at Leicester’s Welford Road police station which now has nine cars instead of 10, backed the cuts.
He said: ”The buses pick up or drop off just outside the station.
”The drivers and passengers seem to like seeing us.
”I need to go to a lot of meetings in the city centre and I’m finding it’s very convenient to get there and back by bus.
”The neighbourhood teams are increasingly using bikes to get around their beats and some will travel there by bus and spend their time patrolling on foot.”
Superintendent Chris Haward, one of the officers leading the cuts and efficiencies programme, said: ”Leicestershire Constabulary is facing a period of extreme financial pressure, unprecedented in recent times.
”It is therefore vital that the force considers every opportunity to make cost-effective use of its resources and continues to deliver an effective service.”
The cuts follow plans to force cut around 150 civilian posts announced earlier this year.