The Home Secretary has agreed to meet former West Midlands Police officers who warned the public will be put at risk because of budget cuts forcing them to retire early.
Theresa May is to hear their concerns in person, after they warned cuts to front-line policing would make it harder to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour.
West Midlands Police has ordered 175 officers to retire under a controversial rule called A19, which allows it to force out anyone with 30 years service.
Chris Sims, the Chief Constable, insists he has to lose officers because Government budget cuts are forcing him to cut spending by £125 million over the next four years.
West Midlands Police is to lose 500 experienced officers over two years, including firearms and child abuse experts.
Last week, five of the officers affected spoke to reveal their fears about the future of policing in the region.
They included Sergeant Dave Hewitt who led a team tackling anti-social behaviour, such as dangerous dogs, nuisance neighbours and cannabis factories, and has been forced into retirement at the age of just 48.
He said: “We are losing experience and knowledge. You are going to take a big wedge experience out of the force, and it has got to have an impact on the quality of service for the public.”
Ms May agreed to meet the officers after she was challenged to defend the cuts by Birmingham MP Jack Dromey (Lab Erdington).
Mr Dromey told her: “Last week five West Midlands police officers with a total service of 163 years spoke out about the harm that will be done to the front line on which they have served all their life.
“If the Home Secretary wants to hear the voice of front-line police officers, will she agree to meet those five police officers?”
She said: “When I next make a trip to the West Midlands force, I am very happy for him to arrange for me to meet those five officers.”
But she warned that cuts had to be made because “the fiscal deficit left by Labour is so dire”.