Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner has announced the biggest shake-up in the force's structure in 40 years. Martin Surl said he wanted to make the force more efficient at a time when the financial situation was 'tricky'. The changes include:
- A single neighbourhood command replacing six local command centres
- Tablet computers for officers and PCSOs to allow them to file reports remotely and stay on the beat.
- Officers to work beyond their local beat when needed.
The introduction of a new way of working, what the Constabulary calls its ‘Operating Model’, is the result of a two year long examination of all the constabulary’s finances, buildings and resources. The first changes will take effect early in 2015.
Thousands of police officers took to the streets of London today, many from our region, to protest about how budget cuts are directly affecting them.
They say cuts will mean a loss of front-line services.
The Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, Tony Melville, who's resigning over government changes to the police service, was at today's march and spoke to officers before it began.
Our political correspondent Bob Constantine has been following events in the capital:
Ian Anderson from Gloucestershire Police Federation says that while they understand police have to take a hit with pensions and pay, but feels that the police are being hit harder than other public sector workers:
Clive Chamberlain from Dorset Police Federation is among those taking part in the march. Officers from every police force in the country are taking part in the protest in London.
Police officers and staff from the Westcountry have arrived in London for a protest march. Police forces across the region are campaigning against budget cuts. The march is about to start.
The Chief Constable of Gloucestershire will join thousands of officers at a protest march in London today.
Tony Melville, who is resigning over budget cuts, has taken a day off to take part.
The march, similar to this one in 2008, is in protest at cuts to force budgets and proposed changes in terms and conditions. Off-duty officers from across the region, inlcuding two hundred from Dorset, will also be there.