Mid Wales

Dyfed-Powys police commissioner freezes civilian jobs

An immediate recruitment freeze on civilian staff has been imposed by the new Dyfed-Powys police and crime commissioner (PCC) to save money.

Conservative Christopher Salmon made the decision after Chancellor's George Osborne Autumn Statement.

He said the statement had confirmed that "pressure on the public finances will increase".

The recruitment freeze will not affect police officers or police community support officers (PCSOs).

'Prudent'

Mr Salmon said the statement on Wednesday confirmed "how tough these times are".

"We have to be prudent in the face of this uncertainty," he said.

"None of us are immune from austerity and the police service has to play its part in helping to tackle the deficit.

"I will consider all options to reduce costs while, delivering an effective police service for the people of Dyfed-Powys."

He said the force had done a "fantastic job" managing austerity over the last two years but he added that it has "further to go".

"We need to restructure the way we do business to meet these challenges and the changing demands of our times," Mr Salmon said.

"After meeting officers and staff in the past few weeks I'm in no doubt that we can do this."

Image caption The recruitment freeze will not affect police officers or PCSOs

He also denied the freeze was a political move, adding he was being "responsible, forward looking and prudent" as the person with responsibility for the police budget.

Dyfed-Powys Police covers the largest geographical area of any force in England and Wales, but it is the third smallest police force in terms of staff numbers.

It currently has around 1,115 full-time police officers, 201 special constables and 143 police community support officers (PCSOs).

It also has about 599 civilian staff, the category affected by the freeze announced on Friday.

The jobs freeze comes after a recruitment drive for a "small number" of police officers for 2013/14 at the end of November.

A freeze on civilian recruitment is already in place in the Gwent and North Wales forces.

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