Jobs to go as Leicestershire Police face ‘unprecedented’ cuts

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Police chiefs said they will do all they can to save front line officers in light of what they have described as an “unprecedented financial challenge”, following further Government cuts.

But they have admitted that is highly likely jobs will go.

Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister of Leicestershire Police said some of the buildings they use may have to be closed, but they will try and take advantage of working with different organisations across the county so they could remain in the community.

The government has indicated that public sector organisations need to expect cuts of between 25 and 40 per cent. For Leicestershire Police, this means further savings of between £17m and £28m.

The exact figure will not be known until the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on November 25. This is on top of savings of £36.1 million which the force made between 2010 and 2015.

Police said they are now entering a new era and has released a plan titled Blueprint 2020, set up to look at how future savings can be made and how the force will look and operate in the coming years.

Deputy Chief Constable Bannister added: “Leicestershire Police has a strong tradition of innovation and good performance. Crime is low, it is currently 26 per cent lower than it was five years ago.

“As with any significant transformational programme there will inevitably be some difficult decisions to be made, but change is not necessarily bad. This is also about doing things differently and improving the way we do things to offer a different service that is still responsive to the needs of local communities.

“We know how important neighbourhood policing is to people in our communities and we are determined to keep officers at the heart of their communities by sharing buildings with other organisations. We are exploring ‘agile working’ - how our staff can be based in a range of buildings but still have access to police systems. This might mean that we close those police buildings which are too big and expensive to run.”

Police are also looking at how the force can take advantage of technology, such as encouraging victims and witnesses to report and track crime on line and contact officers through online services.

Deputy Chief Constable Bannister added: “We are looking to develop our online presence to increase the ways in which people can contact the police. We have to operate in a modern way and be accessible in a way that 
people expect today.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader said “While I fully support the aims and ambitions of this programme, it’s the Chief Constable’s responsibility to design a force that will deliver my Police and Crime Plan notwithstanding the challenges posed by the budgetary situation. I am pleased to have been involved throughout the programme’s development and I feel certain that the force will inform and involve our partners throughout the future development and implementation phases.”