Devon and Cornwall Police could face a loss of a third of its staff by 2020, including 760 police officers

Devon and Cornwall Police looks set to reduce its staff by 1,300 in the next five years - which could include 760 police officers.

Chief Constable Shaun sawyer revealed the news in a statement following a Police and Crime Panel meeting today (Friday).

With the force facing up to £54million in budgets cuts, he said it was clear this would have a significant impact on the service they could provide.

"Despite making plans for significant non staff cuts, over 80 per cent of our budget is allocated as staff costs," he said.

"Based on the information we have at present, to meet the potential budget gap we must plan to reduce the overall workforce by 1,300 posts in the next five years.

"If we halt all police officer recruitment we would reduce by 760 posts, a 25 per cent cut in our current officer numbers, 540 police staff posts would then also need to be found.

"This gives us equally difficult choices such as the complete removal of all 360 PCSO posts and a further 180 posts to be found from elsewhere in the organisation."

He added: "It is not lost on me that every single one of these "posts" is occupied by hard working, dedicated colleagues who strive to serve the public and provide essential policing services which keep the public safe.

"Overall this would mean the workforce would have shrunk from 6,200 posts in 2010 to around 3,900 by 2019/2020."

He said they were looking at all options available and they did not yet know what the final budget figures from the Government would be.