PUBS and nightclubs may no longer be policed as the cash-strapped force pillages its savings, according to the chairman of the Police Federation.

Graham Smith said officers may have to stop responding to some crimes as Thames Valley Police look to save £22m.

"The reality is over the next three or four years we’re going to spend our savings," he said.

"The reserve that we have will disappear. Then there will be some things that we will not be able to do.

"We are going to have to pull back on policing the night-time economy. The reality is politicians changed the licensing laws and created a 24-hour drinking culture. But they didn’t think about the pressures that would put on policing and the rest of the emergency services."

He went on to say the force may struggle to respond to fuel theft and as crimes as office number plummeted by more than three percent in the year leading to September 2016.

He added: "We will have to tell the garages: ‘Don’t ring us – you can sort this out overnight by making it pre-payment on purchase of fuel’.

"There are all sorts of other areas where policing is going to have to push back and say, ‘Actually it’s not our responsibility anymore; it is down to you – we haven’t got the resources to do it’."

Thames Valley Police has had to make £88m of savings in the past six years.

Chief constable Francis Habgood agreed the force was facing real budget pressures.

"Thames Valley Police has a long history of delivering our services in an efficient and effective way and we continue to look at ways to transform whilst protecting the public," he said. 

"As with every service we need to prioritise our demand, for example in recent years we have made considerable investment in protecting the most vulnerable. Sometimes this inevitably means that we have to make difficult choices.

"I will continue to ensure that we use our finite resources to deliver the best possible policing to our communities."