A POLICE union leader has said the continual drop in officer numbers is beginning to resemble Groundhog Day.

Chairman of Thames Valley Police Federation compared the relentless decline to the classic Bill Murray film in which a man is forced to repeat the same day over and over.

In March, there were the equivalent of 4,067 full-time officers in Thames Valley Police – a drop of 29 on March 2017.

Looking at it within a wider context, TVP has seen a decline of more than 300 since 2010.

And across England and Wales officer numbers are down by 21,330 from eight years ago.

PC O'Leary said: “We keep talking about this, the rise in crime and violent crime and about fewer police officers.

“It’s Groundhog Day – the Government get told year after year about the link between crime and the falling numbers of officers and what do we get? We get accused of crying wolf.

“It doesn’t take a genius to work that out and yet here we are with fewer officers than ever before – we’re at saturation point in regard to officer numbers here in Thames Valley and it has to be addressed.”

He is calling on more funds for policing, but he also recognises the need for the service to become more efficient.

The federation leader continued: “The only way we’ll stop the rot is by properly funding extra officers to get them out there on our streets."

He said IT could play a role in boosting efficiency.