SUSSEX Police may have to dip into £15 million of its savings to make ends meet.

The proposal has been put forward in papers due to be presented to councillors sitting on the Sussex police and crime panel on Friday.

Earlier this month Chief Constable Giles York said he would need to dip into reserves “which can only be spent once” to fund the Government-ordered one per cent pay rise and bonus for all officers.

The force has not been given any extra money to meet the added £1.5 million cost.

If approved, the £15 million - and an extra £2 million not yet spent in this years’ budget - will have to be used to soften the blow of the £26 million of savings the force needs to make over the next three years, rather than extra resources or more officers.

The report also suggests the Specialist Crime Command - which tackles cyber crime - could be merged with other forces to make more savings.

This is despite councillors calling on police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne to ensure resources to crackdown on the growing type of crime were not cut back.

The report said the department was “not resilient enough to withstand” further budget cuts without change in order to make savings and it should and “maximise opportunities” for working with other forces and public bodies. Sussex Police has been so far unable to confirm whether this would mean cuts to resources and staff in the county.

But it said it “makes sense” to find ways of covering the whole region together rather than each force working individually.

The plans could see Sussex sharing even more infrastructure more with Surrey, as well as Thames Valley and Hampshire in the future.

The force continues to review its spending on police presence at Gatwick Airport, football matches and other public events.

Mrs Bourne also hopes a workshop she has acquired in Crawley will help with costs for servicing police and fire crew fleets.