'Changes inevitable' says new West Mercia Police chief

The new West Mercia Police Chief Constable has said he cannot guarantee frontline policing will remain the same due to budget cuts.

David Shaw has replaced the force's longest serving Chief Constable, Paul West, who retired last week.

The force is facing a £34m budget cut by 2015 and is looking at ways to share resources with Warwickshire Police.

Mr Shaw told BBC News that change for all staff was "inevitable".

'Do things once'

He said: "It's inevitable that if we have got to lose about 20% of our budget, the way we deliver the services has to change.

"I cannot guarantee that every officer and every community support officer and police staff member will be doing exactly the same job in exactly the same way."

He said the "strategic alliance" with Warwickshire Police would mean wherever possible "doing things once rather than twice".

Former Chief Constable, Mr West was highly critical of the government's decision to cut the force's budget by nearly a quarter and called for a strategic review into policing across England.

But Mr Shaw, who was the Deputy Chief Constable at West Mercia, said he was not convinced it was necessary.

Last month, research by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) revealed more than 1,000 jobs were likely to go at West Mercia Police by 2015.

It has proposed shedding 366 officers. Up to 574 civilian police staff and 90 PCSOs could also go.

The HMIC said overall, there would be more than 30,000 fewer police jobs in England and Wales by March 2015.

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