Consultants help police find savings

SUFFOLK Constabulary has revealed that it spent £142,000 on consultancy fees as the first stage of a re-shuffle designed to save £8million over four years.

SUFFOLK Constabulary has revealed that it spent £142,000 on consultancy fees as the first stage of a re-shuffle designed to save £8million over four years.

The cost covered the hiring of consultants Avail Consulting to carry out an analysis of support services across the force, ahead of restructuring which is expected to be put in place by December.

At the start of the summer it was announced that the savings had to be made in order to meet new threats such as international terrorism, at a time when cuts are being made in funding from central government.

The biggest change is likely to be the merging of the current three Basic Command Units (BCUs) covering the south, east and west of the county into two.


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This has led to fears of job losses among the constabulary's civilian and support staff.

Megan Howes, Unison branch secretary, said: “We are still very much waiting to see what is going to happen.

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“Of course there are concerns from the staff, some of them are concerned, some are not too concerned and some of them are angry about the proposals.

“There is inevitably a fear that people's jobs are going to be lost, but at the moment it is too early to tell if that is going to happen and what jobs will go.

“£142,000 might seem like a lot of money to spend on a consultancy but if a small force like ours does not have the facilities to carry out that kind of work in-house, it is necessary.”

Mrs Howes said that the establishment of a new major investigation team, in the wake of the Ipswich prostitute killings, would create about 50 new jobs, going some way to alleviate concerns.

During August a roadshow has been travelling to police stations around the county to keep staff up to date with the latest news on the merger.

At a meeting of the Suffolk police authority in July it was announced that no police officers would be lost in the proposed merger of the county's three BCUs.

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