More than 1,000 police community support officer jobs have been cut every year in England since 2010, according to a new report.
A study by Unison found there has been a 27% reduction in the number of PCSOs, with more than 4,400 jobs lost.
The union said the cuts had left the public with “little or no reassurance” over safety and had made a “huge impact” on policing of streets because PCSOs make up a big percentage of neighbourhood policing teams.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “People feel safer when there is a visible and reassuring police presence on the beat.
“But years of savage cuts to PCSOs mean that one in four police patrols have been withdrawn from our neighbourhoods since 2010. If the Conservatives are returned to power, the harsh police spending cuts they are proposing would see many more PCSOs cut.
“This government has shown no interest in protecting frontline police despite its promises to do so. Ministers’ obsession with cuts is now placing the public at greater risk. With fewer PCSOs, vital evidence and intelligence gathering will be lost and fewer crimes solved.
“Five more years of a Conservative government would sound the death knell for neighbourhood policing – upon which so many people rely.”
Unison has called on Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to investigate the impact of cuts on the quality of the police service.