Jobs will be lost as police force has to find �25m in savings
A NEW way of policing Suffolk is the challenge facing police chiefs in light of major job cuts which will be forced by the need to make �25million savings over the next four years.
The cutbacks equate to around a quarter of the force’s expected annual budget.
Next year, bosses are working on the basis of having to save around �8.5m out of a forecast budget of �112m.
The following year the projected savings will be around another �3m, in 2013/14 the force is expecting to save nearly �6m and in the fourth year the savings will be another �8.5m.
As an already low-cost force which has focused on improving efficiency, the reality of the situation is people will lose their jobs, say the Constabulary.
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At yesterday’s Police Authority meeting, Chief Constable Simon Ash urged people to be “realistic of the magnitude” of the challenges ahead. He warned a smaller workforce than that policing Suffolk today is inevitable.
Discussing their financial framework for the years 2011 to 2014 at the meeting at Suffolk police’s headquarters in Martlesham, the Police Authority treasurer Chris Bland said the year ahead will be “extremely financially tight”.
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The full impact of the squeeze on public funding is set to be decided by the Government in its Comprehensive Spending Review due on October 20.
But the authority has warned the true nature of how the national picture will play out on a local level may not be known until late November or December.
Mr Ash said although �25m equates to a quarter of the annual budget it does not mean a quarter of the workforce will necessarily be lost.
As the workforce is reduced so too will costs including the force’s fleet.
Mr Ash said: “Our challenge is going to be a completely different way to deliver policing in Suffolk with a big chunk of that involving collaboration.”
“We are well on the way in our collaborative approach with Norfolk and we are in discussions more broadly in the region.”
He pledged: “We are going to be protecting local policing in the neighbourhoods.”