Manchester

Greater Manchester police force confirms 900 job cuts

Greater Manchester Police has confirmed it is to shed almost 900 jobs.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy said that 616 civilian posts and 270 police officer jobs would go from a workforce of 12,000.

The cuts include the loss of 55 front desk positions as the force looks to save £134m over four years.

Mr Fahy admitted it was "incredibly painful" process for staff but said he wanted to protect front-line policing.

The redundancies are the latest bid by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to reduce costs after its funding was cut by 4% a year.

Areas of policing affected will be forensics, intelligence, serious crime and call-handling jobs in the second phase of the review which it's hoped will save £33m.

"We are faced with a very difficult financial situation," said Mr Fahy.

"We've looked at every single one of these areas to decide can we do it differently, can we centralise certain functions, do we need to be doing it all?

"It has created opportunities but it's been incredibly painful for the members of staff involved."

'No easy decisions'

Mr Fahy also defended the decision to cut 55 staff from front desks at police stations, saying a new appointment system meant they were no longer needed.

He also insisted that the loss of call-handling jobs would not affect the force's response times to 999 calls.

"There are no easy decisions but protecting front-line policing is at the heart of the plans that are being developed."

Mr Fahy has already written to officers ordering them to cut red tape in an effort to cut costs.

More than 300 GMP staff are said to be interested in taking voluntary redundancy and officers whose jobs are being cut will be redeployed "to the front line" when other officers retire.

Staff affected will receive details about what this means for their individual role on Tuesday.

More than £30m has already been saved in phase one of the review which began after the chancellor's Spending Review in October 2010.

A total of 1,387 officers and 1,557 civilian posts are expected to be shed by 2015.

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