Police search for raft of savings ideas

GRUBBY windows could be on the cards at Suffolk police headquarters as the force looks to make almost £2million of savings, it emerged today.

GRUBBY windows could be on the cards at Suffolk police headquarters as the force looks to make almost £2million of savings, it emerged today.

One of the cost cutting measures being proposed by the force is a reduction in its window cleaning bill which could see the windows at the force's Martlesham headquarters cleaned only once a year, instead of four times.

Other plans include renegotiating a range of contracts including the force's insurance bill and the maintenance of the force helicopter.

Overtime is also likely to be cut and as many as nine police officer positions could be lost.

Deputy chief constable Colin Langham-Fitt said the force had to make “efficiency savings” every year and job losses would be a last resort.

He said: “Every year the government gives us 1.5per cent less than we need and we make up the difference by making savings. This year it is 1.8pc.

Most Read

“It is a strange way of doing business but I can honestly say we have improved over the last year and I expect us to continue to improve.”

The news of the efficiency drive at Suffolk Constabulary comes after a decision by Suffolk Police Authority to set a budget of £101.85million for policing in the county in the year ahead, meaning an increase in the council tax precept of by 4.95pc.

Earlier this month we reported how the constabulary was considering a raft of measures aimed at achieving savings which the government has required all forces across the UK to deliver.

Mr Langham-Fitt said the worse case scenario would be the loss of nine police officer posts but this was unlikely.

He said: “If we do have to trim one or two officers here or there I don't expect it to have a major impact on policing in the county.

“We don't want to lose any officers and if we can find the money elsewhere then we will.”

The force is currently conducting a major review of how it works and is considering the idea of radically altering its structure in order to save money.

Mr Langham-Fitt said by the end of the year the three basic command units in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Halesworth could be combined into a single unified command, run centrally.

Are you happy to pay more for policing in the county? Are you worried about the force cutting nearly £2million in spending? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter