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Police officer numbers set to fall following Government cuts
5:00pm Thursday 1st August 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of police officer and staff jobs are under threat with Essex Police having to find another £18million savings.
The force is already in the process of cutting budgets by £44million following Government cuts.
It is on course to do so after cutting almost 400 officers, 500 staff, 100 PCSOs, closing police stations, front counters and axing the mounted unit.
But with about 90 per cent of the budget spent on the workforce officers are worried they will take the brunt of the second round of savings required by March 2016.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex Nick Alston said: “The initial analysis suggests Essex Police will be looking to make additional efficiency savings of around £8 million in 2014/15 and a further £10 million in 2015/16.
“This will be a challenge.
“Essex Police has been through a series of significant changes recently, including a major organisational restructure and the appointment of a new Chief Constable.
“I hope it will be possible to deliver efficiency savings in 2014/15 and 2015/16 without any further major organisational change.
“We will also be aiming to minimise job losses among staff and preserve officer numbers as far as possible and we hope to be able to inform people of the plan in the coming weeks.”
No specific decisions have been made yet.
Mr Alston added: “It is important the plan for delivering these efficiency savings is carefully developed and thought through.
“As soon as we are in a position to consult with staff, officers and of course the Police Federation and Unison, we shall do so.”
Mark Smith, chairman of the Essex Police Federation, believes policing will have to change dramatically if officer numbers are cut further.
He said: “There will be less frontline officers and there is nothing we can do about it.
“It is extremely hard out there already and we have to look at how we are going to be able to police in the future.
“There will be less police officers on the streets and they will have to look everywhere but most of the savings will have to come from officer numbers.”
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