Police in line for job cuts

CASH-strapped Suffolk police could axe about 40 jobs as part of a major cost-cutting drive, it was revealed today.The force needs to save £1.5million and is looking at job losses as one of a number of money-saving options.

CASH-strapped Suffolk police could axe about 40 jobs as part of a major cost-cutting drive, it was revealed today.

The force needs to save £1.5million and is looking at job losses as one of a number of money-saving options.

Simon Stevens, Suffolk Constabulary spokesman, said the cuts would not affect police officer numbers and would be focused on the civilian force.

Of the 40 positions under threat, 25 are already vacant, leaving another 15 still under threat.


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Mr Stevens said: "This is a problem being faced by all forces because the government has asked us to find extra savings.

"Our aim is to manage this situation by only advertising the jobs we think are vital to fill as vacancies arise. We're hopeful that by doing this they'll be no redundancies at all."

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Despite operating on a reduced workforce, Mr Stevens said the changes are intended to improve the performance of the force.

He said: "The aim is to make our service even better.

"Any changes that result from the review are designed to allow people to make an even greater contribution to the already good work being carried out by Suffolk police."

While understanding the need to think about job losses, Unison branch secretary Megan Howes, who represents civilian police workers, said: "It does concern me because less people will mean more work for those that stay."

"In the short-term it might be fine. It just worries me things might slow down if people carry that heavy burden for a sustained period of time.

"I don't think the public will notice any difference in the short-term. What we don't know is what's going to happen in the future."

Mrs Howes said she had joined chief constable Alastair McWhirter on a series of staffing meetings designed to reassure workers.

A final decision on the issue of jobs losses will be made at a meeting of Suffolk Police Authority in January. The authority is currently looking studying its budget after being given an extra £2.5million in funding for the next financial year, a 3.75 per increase.

What do you think of the cuts? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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