Suffolk: Police chief denies 250 police and community support officers could go.

Tim Passmore Tim Passmore

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
1:59 PM

Suffolk’s police chief today said suggestions the county could lose up to 250 police and community support officers over the next four years was “way wide of the mark”.

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However, Suffolk Police Federation believes cuts in frontline personnel are inevitable, although it could not say how many posts would go.

The county’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “There are no plans for 250 job losses whatsoever, so I have no idea where that comes from.

“I think whoever provided that story has some questions to ask themselves.

“The whole thing is rather nonsensical. The last thing we need to do is to alarm people that this is happening, because it is not.

“This alarmist talk about 250 positions going is way wide of the mark. We haven’t even discussed it.”

He added if police posts were to go they would be through non-replacement or natural wastage.

What is not in doubt is that Suffolk Constabulary has a deep financial blackhole to overcome. It must save £16.4million over the next four years due to cutbacks to its Government grant.

Suffolk’s Police Federation Chairman Matt Gould said: “It’s a simple case of mathematics. We are in a position where the organisation is not able to make the savings anywhere other than from the wage bill. More than 80% of the budget is wages.

“I don’t believe we are going to make the necessary savings by means other than losing staff, whether it be officers or PCSOs or probably a combination.

“We are not going to be able to make these savings by partnership working or reducing the number of people in administrative departments.”

The report by the BBC that 250 police and PCSO posts could be lost followed Mr Passmore vetoing the proposal for Suffolk’s police control room to be moved to Norfolk in a shared centre at Wymondham. The relocation would have saved as estimated combined total of £1.84m a year, with Suffolk’s share being £632,000.

A linked move for various administrative functions to move to Suffolk was said to have the potential to save a further of £2.5m.

However, Mr Passmore turned down the proposal for relocating Suffolk’s control centre citing his discomfort over the possible risks to public safety.

Suffolk police have identified £6m in savings, but currently have a shortfall of £10m in the bid to balance the books by 2018.

8 comments

  • It's all about efficient use of human resources. The savings from combining control rooms would have come from reducing numbers just as with any other changes. What I didn't understand about the BBC report was that Norfolk need to save more but were expecting to reduce staffing by less to achieve that. How?

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    amsterdam81

    Thursday, May 29, 2014

  • We have a situation here... The newish PCC role comes with an annual salary of £70k ish (and the £75m cost of holding the elections for 41 PCCs elected every 4 years... I make it £457,317 per PCC so just over half a million pounds per year!) which COSTS money... perhaps a different budget but that is neither here or there. The police are burning cash by finding ways to save money and exploring these possible avenues in depth... but the PCC is vetoing every suitable suggestion, or so is claimed. If I was the PCC, I would abolish the PCSO officers... a complete waste of money... I would also give police officers an ultimatum... walk the beat alone or pair up to have a "friend" to talk to but get a 50% pay cut. A reduction in front line policing isn't a bad thing... after all a police officer standing guard at a taped off crime scene on discovery of a body or a sexual assault isn't going to prevent the crime that happened or catch those responsible. Crime is on the increase and the police have been unable to prevent it. They stick too much time and resources in banning super strength lager and with licensed premises. Suffolk once a safe county is far from it... seems Suffolk Police are happy to pick up the pieces every time.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • PCSO's are a luxury the Police can ill afford . The only reason they were taken on was that the Government bribed Chief Constables by saying they would contribute towards their cost . This subsidy is gone now and most PCSO's earn more than new Police Officers , so hardly on the cheap !

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    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • He could get rid of one in two of the PCSO as you never see one on their own ,to day I saw two lots walking side by side, policeing on the cheap does not work .real police officers do.

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    pandy

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • Much was made of the possible merger of the control room but I haven't read any mention of combining senior roles such as Chief Constable and his deputies across the counties. Whilst in no way do I wish to devalue the work they do but has this been considered.

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    jennifer jane

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • It is certain front line police will go due to them pulling out of the control room merger. It was sensible to merge the control rooms. It would improve the service whilst reducing costs. It would have enable front line staff to be retained

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    BobE

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • What iate present numbers on the payroll, and how does it compare with recent years, and other counties? Perhaps I should already know, but I don't and so this news item means very little.

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    Blackeye

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • "Cuts in the front line are inevitable" ?, this is after the tories said in The House of Commons that there would be NO loss of Police in the front line ! So here we have yet another broken promise from the unelected tories !

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    freedomf

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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