DCSIMG

Police force to cut 400 jobs

Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria

  • by Ian Smith
 

More than 400 jobs are to be axed at Northumbria Police in an attempt to make £46 million budget savings by April 2017.

Around 230 police staff posts are to be lost from a range of areas, along with up to 200 senior management and supervisory police officer roles.

It is also planned to reduce the number of area commands from six to three - including the merger of the Northumberland and North Tyneside sections - and close police stations to make more savings.

Chief Constable Sue Sim said: “Neighbourhood policing will remain the cornerstone of how we deliver service and I remain committed to protecting, as far as possible, the officers and staff who are visible in our communities.

“This includes 24/7 response and neighbourhood policing teams, including CSO Patrol and the detectives who work in our neighbourhoods.

“In order to make further savings we propose to introduce a new structure by streamlining our area commands from six to three and reducing the number of buildings we work from.

“We will need to reduce police staff posts by approx 230 across a range of areas by April 2017 but have already identified 80 vacancies and hope to achieve as many as possible through natural turnover.

“The new structure will also allow us to reduce approx 200 senior management and supervisory police officer roles, again through natural turnover.

“Northumbria has an excellent record in reducing crime and disorder and keeping our communities safe and those high standards will continue.”

The force is required to save £46 million by March 2017, on top of the £58 million of savings since the start of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010.

But efforts are being made to safeguard the services the public say they value the most – visible policing in their communities.

Police & Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “The Government cuts are relentless and unfair. They impact far more heavily on our police service than on many others. The Chief Constable and I are very committed to maintaining the number of police officers and staff working in our neighbourhoods.”

This will be achieved without the need for any increase in the council tax for policing.

“I am conscious that local people are feeling the effects of the economic downturn very acutely in our region,” Miss Baird continued. “We have managed to protect frontline numbers and deliver the savings needed without the public having to pay more.

“To achieve this we need to do things differently, use technology more effectively and work from different buildings that are cheaper to run. We will re-locate neighbourhood policing teams to bases in the local community, usually shared with other services.

“We are keen to make further savings by re-locating other neighbourhood policing teams into the communities that they serve. However, we guarantee that no police services will be re-located until we have found accessible bases within the community for neighbourhood teams to work from and they are working well.”

 

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