Police forces in Suffolk and Essex to review financial situations as Norfolk Constabulary reveals shake-up
- Credit: Steve Adams
Police chiefs in Suffolk and north Essex are to review their financial situations as fellow East Anglian force Norfolk announces the biggest shake-up in its history.
Scrapping the PCSO role altogether, neighbourhood resources could be scaled down at Norfolk Constabulary with 150 people losing their jobs under new proposals introduced today as bosses attempt to tackle “unprecedented” spikes in sexual assaults and child abuse.
Seven police stations are also due to shut under the plans, which will now be the subject of a public consultation, in a bid to save £10million by 2020.
A total of 81 new police officer roles are also due to be created to match rising demand, Chief Constable Simon Bailey said.
No decisions have been made yet regarding staffing levels in Suffolk, which shares several departments with Norfolk.
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A spokesman said: “We are currently going through our financial planning process for 2018/19 to ensure our resources are allocated appropriately across the force. In a time of decreasing budgets, we continue to look for innovative ways of ensuring we continue to provide a service that reflects our policing priorities as well as ensuring we continue to protect the public.”
Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said decisions made in Norfolk do not affect neighbourhood policing in Suffolk as this department is not shared.
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He added: “I will be discussing our financial planning process with Chief Constable Gareth Wilson in due course and will await our settlement from government in December before deciding how we meet the financial challenges we face.”
Essex’s police, fire and crime commissioner Roger Hirst said the size and make-up of the county means that the force has more 999 calls and tackles more victim-based crime on average.
Extra money raised from council tax this year has been spent on recruiting additional police officers and special constables as well as new technology and fit for purpose police stations.
He did not say whether Essex would consider a similar model to Norfolk in the future, but added: “Over the last six years we have had made a number of tough decisions to identify savings of over £74 million and carefully prioritise where we need to invest the resources we have.”