Suffolk police fear �20m cutbacks

SUFFOLK police could face a potential �20m cut in its budget over the next four years - which would effectively decimate front line policing in the county, it has been warned.

Graham Dines

SUFFOLK police could face a potential �20m cut in its budget over the next four years - which would effectively decimate front line policing in the county, it has been warned.

As public services face a spending squeeze to pay for the black hole in the nation's finances, the county's police authority was presented yesterday with three possible scenarios.

Even the best case scenario envisages a �3.164m reduction in money. The authority is working on the assumption that it will have to find �9m savings over four years, but officers will also prepare for a �20.315m cut which would be the result of an increase to 5% in inflation, 2% pay awards, a 1% cut in government grants, and a zero rise in the council tax precept.


You may also want to watch:


Philip Clayton, the authority's assistant chief officer, said it would be near impossible for the county to be effectively policed if massive cuts were imposed. “There would be no quality of policing and no resilience.”

He believed that political considerations would temper any thought of reducing the budget by �20m.

Most Read

“I do not think the government can afford the consequences which would follow such a massive reduction.”

The authority is in the same situation as local authorities in not knowing what level of financial support will be received from the government in 2010-11. Authority member Colin Spence said: “We are walking a black tunnel blindfolded.

“However, we owe it to the public to prepare for the worst to happen. We have to say we are going to have staff cuts and that it will be difficult to achieve the delivery of services.”

Another member David Rowe said: “Suffolk is a low cost force and cuts will have a very serious effect on us. The real problem is we do not know what's coming - we cannot plan.”

The authority will receive papers in the next few weeks detailing the impact of any cuts on the strategic, operational, organisational and financial services of the county constabulary. One outcome may be to increase partnership working with Norfolk police.

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