DYFED-Powys Police is at a "tipping point" and could see cuts in the number of police officers, after forces have been told there is a £420 million pension shortfall.

The recent government budget saw the Treasury decide that police forces needed to contribute more to their pensions.

Police in England and Wales have been told that the £420 million pensions shortfall must now be met from their budgets.

As a worst case scenario for Dyfed-Powys Police, this could mean a loss of 38 officers in 2019/20 and a total of 97 officers for 2020/21, placing great pressures on resources and posing a real threat to community safety.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: "We are, without doubt, nearing tipping point in relation to Police funding in Dyfed-Powys.

"With the handing of a substantial and unprecedented pensions bill from the Treasury, financial stability has now been put at significant risk, and poses a threat to our local communities."

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd LlywelynPolice and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn

Dyfed-Powys PCC Dafydd Llywelyn.

He added: "If the Treasury is to continue with its plans, without providing additional funding, we will have to look at a range of options before making some difficult decisions.

"I cannot, by law set an unbalanced budget. This means that this money would have to be found from increasing council tax, drawing from reserves, or by reducing expenditure."

The commissioner has written to all Dyfed-Powys MPs and AMs raising his concerns about the critical and precarious position that Dyfed-Powys and the police service in general face. He has also invited elected representatives to a briefing with him in December.

Police budgets have already been cut by 19per cent since 2010.

The National Police Chiefs Council - of which Dyfed-Powys Police is a member - sent a formal letter in response, saying it will take legal action in the high court unless the government backs down.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are working closely with forces to understand the impact this change will have and are in discussions with police leaders about mitigating the impact on the front line.

“The government is committed to continuing to ensure that the police have the resources they need to do their vital work and the home secretary has been clear that he will prioritise police funding at the next spending review.”