Manchester

Greater Manchester Police confirm loss of 1,000 jobs

GMP Chief Constable Peter Fahy
Image caption Chief Constable Peter Fahy outlined the cuts to staff in two meetings

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has confirmed it is to cut more than 1,000 jobs by the end of next year.

The force needs to save £134m over the next four years.

GMP Chief Constable Peter Fahy said it had been a "painful process" but that he was determined criminals would not benefit.

The savings were agreed at a meeting of the Greater Manchester Police Authority (GMPA) to set the GMP budget for 2011/12.

The job losses confirmed by the authority are part of a wider programme of reform in response to the government's spending review.

Up to 500 police posts will go in backroom areas such as IT, human resources and catering by the end of May.

A further 500 operational roles including call handlers, forensics staff and public protection posts will be lost before the end of 2012.

The first of 150 or so compulsory notices are expected to be issued next week, with the force continuing to seek voluntary redundancies.

'Painful process'

By the financial year 2014-15, GMP plans to reduce employee numbers by 23%, which equates to a total of almost 1,400 officers and more than 1,500 civilian posts.

By law, frontline police officers cannot be made redundant.

However, GMP is planning to lose 94 police officer posts by the end of 2012 through natural wastage and a recruitment freeze with another 404 civilian jobs also being cut.

Mr Fahy said the force had worked hard to maintain its ability to fight crime.

"We are determined to ensure that the criminal fraternity does not benefit from this situation," he said.

"Nevertheless this has been a very painful process for the staff involved and we will see many valued colleagues leave the force over the coming 12 months and beyond."

He added that the force had also set new targets to reduce crime, protect vulnerable people, reduce anti-social behaviour, strengthen visible local policing and deliver value for money.

GMPA chairman Councillor Paul Murphy insisted the force would not be retreating from the streets.

"People have told us they want to be safe and feel safe in their communities. That's why we've continued to put neighbourhood policing at the heart of the aims we've set," he said.

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