Police to axe 1,000 jobs in £37m cuts

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SAVAGE £37m cuts to this year’s West Yorkshire Police budget will see 1,000 jobs axed across the force.

And costs may have to be cut by a further £87m over the next four years as Government funding is slashed.

Police Authority members yesterday agreed the 2011/12 budget of £432.8m, a reduction of 3.9 per cent on last year.

Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison, told the meeting: “The budget reduction is unprecedented. I have been in policing for 39 years and I have never had to contend with anything like it.”

He added: “You cannot take £87m, or 20 per cent out of the organisation, without it affecting the numbers of staff there to do the job.”

The reduced budget comes after a cut in Government funding to the Police Authority over the next four years, equating to £18.6m in 2011/12 alone.

Once price increases and other factors were included, the authority and force were left with the task of finding over £37m in savings.

Deputy Chief Constable David Crompton said: “We anticipate that around 1,000 officer and police staff roles will have to be lost.

“The majority of these will be through natural leavers and the continuing recruitment freeze.

However, around 250 redundancies are expected to have to be made, the majority of which are from back office and administration roles.

“Clearly any loss of staff is highly regrettable which is why the force has been running Operation Transform for the last eight months, to ensure the necessary reductions have as little impact on frontline services as possible.”

The meeting heard front-line police will have to take on some of the work previously done by back office staff when their jobs are cut.

Officers will have to do more paperwork to prepare cases for court as costs are cut in the force’s Criminal Justice Support division.

The Operational Support unit at Carr Gate, Wakefield, will be reduced in size. The unit includes police dogs, firearms, and the force helicopter.

And cuts to the Scientific Support Unit means police will have to be more selective when asking for forensics tests to be carried out at crime scenes.

Roads policing teams are to be centralised to cut costs with less staff and vehicles in future.

And 80 jobs will go in administration, human resources and finance.

mark.lavery@ypn.co.uk

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