Wales

North Wales Police chief confirms 242 jobs to go

Mark Polin
Image caption Chief constable Mark Polin said he would try and protect community policing teams from job cuts

The chief constable of North Wales Police has confirmed 242 jobs are to go over the next four years.

A reduction in funding from the UK government means the force must make £15m in cuts by early 2015.

Mark Polin said job losses will affect both officers and civilian staff.

He said he would try to protect community officers and support those on the beat and that he plans to save money by not sending officers to some non-emergency calls.

"Currently our policy is to attend every crime call, no matter what the nature of the crime, no matter what the wishes of the victim," he added.

"We will seek to move away from that because there are occasions whereby there is no justification for us coming out to that call, indeed the public do not want us to attend.

"This is about maximising the use of the resources we will have - fewer resources to safeguard the public in our communities in north Wales, and to provide the best possible service that we can."

Mr Polin said he had been examining the force's budget since he took over from Richard Brunstrom last year.

Some of the £15m would be made with efficiency savings, he said.

"Since my appointment we've been re-examining the whole organisation from top to bottom to see how we can improve what we do, and at the same time minimise the effect on the front line, and that remains our ambition," he added.

The force is also reviewing its structure. It is currently split into three divisions, and sub-divided into 15 districts.

Council tax

This move may lead to the closure of some police stations, Mr Polin confirmed, but the force will look at sharing buildings with organisations like councils.

"We recognise the importance of a visible presence in our communities and some of this could come down to asking do you want a visible police officer or community support officer or do you want a visible building in the community,".

The North Wales Police Authority, which sets the force's budgets, has indicated that the part of the council tax bill that goes directly to the police force, known as the "precept", is likely to rise by 4% in the next financial year.

The aim is to reduce the effect of cuts to the main funding the force receives from the UK government.

Mr Polin said crime in the force area has fallen by 10% on last year and anti-social behaviour incidents are down by 14%.

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