Suffolk police jobs saved by more cash from Home Office

Gareth Wilson ANL-150224-163502001
Gareth Wilson ANL-150224-163502001

New Home Office funding announcements mean Suffolk Police’s planned savings target of £20.5 million by 2020 will be reduced ‘by several million pounds’.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in November that police funding was to be protected in the next round of government cuts leading to 2020 but force-specific information was not delivered until December 17.

Tim Passmore ANL-150216-155059001

Tim Passmore ANL-150216-155059001

That has allowed the Suffolk force to revise its funding and savings projections, including job losses.

It says the most up-to-date information will be available in January and will allow the force to finalise its mid-term financial plan.

However, the Suffolk Local Policing Review, announced in December, will go ahead to enable the force to deliver the savings already required and to re-design to respond to changing demand.

But it predicts fewer police officer posts will be lost and the improved budget will bring forward plans to open officer recruitment.

Temporary Chief Constable Gareth Wilson said: “We have been running a freeze on police officer recruitment for two years now and have always planned to lift this to enable us to replace those officers who leave through retirement and natural turnover.

“[The December 17] news means we are in a much stronger financial position and can open recruitment much earlier than expected, ensuring that we retain the correct workforce mix of warranted police officers, PCSOs, police staff and volunteers.

“PCSOs and staff members within Suffolk whose roles are being removed from the organisation will have the first opportunity to apply for these posts, creating new opportunities for them and reducing the number of redundancies.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Despite the good news I must reiterate there are major challenges ahead and difficult choices must be made.

“The pattern of crime is changing rapidly in areas such as fraud, child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse.

“The need to transform operational policing continues unabated but we can all look to the future with greater confidence.”

Further information on the Constabulary’s funding position will be released in the New Year.