Tyne & Wear

Northumbria Police faces £46m of extra cuts

Chief Constable Sue Sim Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption Chief Constable Sue Sim said numbers of police on the beat would be protected

Hundreds of police posts will be lost and police stations shut by a force which needs to save an extra £46m.

Northumbria Police said it needed to make the savings by 2017 in addition to the £58m it has already made because of budget cuts.

It plans to cut 230 police staff posts and about 200 senior management and supervisory police officer roles.

It said the number of police officers and staff working in communities would be protected.

The force said it hoped to make most of the staff cuts through natural turnover.

'Creaking around edges'

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird branded the Government cuts as "relentless and unfair", but said she and Chief Constable Sue Sim were committed to maintaining the numbers of police officers and staff on the beat.

She said that would be done by using technology more effectively and working from buildings which were cheaper to run.

She also said there would be no increase in the police strand of council tax.

"I am conscious that local people are feeling the effects of the economic downturn very acutely in our region," he said.

"We have managed to protect frontline numbers and deliver the savings needed without the public having to pay more."

Ms Sim said: "I remain committed to protecting, as far as possible, the officers and staff who are visible in our communities."

Northumbria Police Federation chairman Gordon Armstrong said such cuts could not continue and he had deep concerns about the impact on the morale and welfare of officers.

He said they would support the chief constable but said the cuts were now becoming "ridiculous" and the front line was "creaking around the edges".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites