Suffolk: Plan to cut 300 police jobs approved

MULTI-million pound cutbacks which would see Suffolk Constabulary shed 300 jobs over the next four years were approved today.

However, at this morning’s Suffolk Police Authority meeting, members also voted not to increase the precept the force will get from its share of the council tax for 2011/12.

Instead, the constabulary will receive a government grant of around �1million, which was offered as an incentive to keep the precept the same as this year.

Next year’s budget of �115.4m will herald major cost-savings. These include losing 100 police officer posts and 200 civilian posts by 2015.

The losses in personnel equate to savings of �11.5m out of the �13.5m cuts the force must make over the four years.

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Chief Constable Simon Ash told today’s police authority meeting: “Sustaining the financial stability in the medium and long term is going to be crucial for the force.

“The challenge is we are going to have to deliver consistently high standards of service with considerably less cash. We are under no illusions about the challenge the Home Secretary has set us in that regard.”

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Around �10m of the savings required must be made in the next two years, the authority was told.

Mr Ash added: “The cuts are unprecedented.

“They are going to be a big challenge to deliver. The savings required are a significant reduction in head count. It’s broadly about 300 people in the next four years.

“The speed of that delivery is going to be absolutely crucial in making the finances balance over the next four years.”

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