England

Devon and Cornwall civilian investigator cuts 'detrimental'

The loss of 85 civilian investigators (CIs) at Devon and Cornwall Police will have a "detrimental" effect, according to a man who used to do the job.

John Ingram said cutting the CI posts was "bound to impact on crime".

The force is getting rid of the jobs as part of £47m savings it has to make over four years.

Det Supt Paul Northcott said it was about "getting the right resources into the right place" and said police officers would fill in the gaps.

CIs take on tasks such as interviewing witnesses and taking statements to free up officers to deal with other work.

Union challenge

Mr Ingram said: "There is going to be, I feel, a detrimental affect on the people of Devon and Cornwall.

"Before we were even made redundant it had been identified that CID departments were short staffed; losing another 85 crime investigators across the force has compounded that problem."

Last week the GMB union lost its challenge to the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority over the redundancies.

Nigel Rabbits from the Police Federation said: "Civilian investigation is front-line - we're talking about the visibility of uniformed police officers - and, as we reduce, the gaps are going to start to appear.

"There was always an optimum number of police offers, we're going to go below that and there are going to be repercussions."

Mr Northcott added: "I need to reassure people that if they report a crime or an incident we will still have sufficient resources to respond."

But he said there could be "some issues that we may not be able to deliver against", such as some road traffic incidents which could be investigated by other "partners".

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