Northumbria Police says more than four hundred staff jobs will go - including two hundred police officers - and a number of stations are to close. It's part of a bid to save nearly fifty million pounds after cuts to its budget. The force insists public safety wont be affected. Dan Ashby reports.
Northumbria Police has saved £58million since the start of the Government Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010. Now, a further £46million must now be cut. The force will have to make job losses. The Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has said she is conscious people are feeling the effects.
“We are keen to make further savings by re-locating other neighbourhood policing teams into the communities that they serve, as this is what local policing is all about. 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. “I am conscious that local people are feeling the effects of the economic downturn very acutely in our region. We have managed to protect frontline numbers and deliver the savings needed without the public having to pay more.”
Chief Constable Sue Sim has spoken about why Northumbria Police has to make job cuts. She said neighbourhood policing will be a priority but that staff posts must be reduced.
“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."
– Chief Constable Sue Sim
“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. We will continue to recruit police constables to fill frontline vacancies as they arise."