Suffolk Police job cuts will reach 300 over four years

Suffolk Police has announced it will cut 300 uniformed and civilian jobs.

The force has been outlining how it will make £13.6m of savings over four years when it has an annual budget of £130m this year.

Chief Constable Simon Ash said it had to work within a 20% cut in the grant from the government.

The force is planning to make savings by reducing the number of supervising officers and through more collaboration with Norfolk Police.

The Chief Constable said there was a commitment to "front line services" and the 29 safer neighbourhood teams across the county.

Mr Ash said: "What I am guaranteeing is that the constables and community support officers - the people the public deal with on a day-to-day basis - those numbers, around 400, we will be maintaining."

'Intelligent collaboration'

Suffolk has 1,200 uniformed officers and 1,000 civilian staff.

It estimates 100 officer jobs will go, including 40 supervisory posts, and a further 200 civilian staff.

Mr Ash said savings would be made through pooling resources with Norfolk in major investigations including murders, traffic and firearms teams and in the support departments of finance, human resources, cars, estates and media communications.

"Rather than have one department in each of the forces of Norfolk and Suffolk, we are able to combine those into smaller, more resilient departments that are able to service both forces, reducing costs but maintaining high standards of service," he said.

"Officers will be working across boundaries and will be challenged in ways that they've not been before, but we think we can do that and, in the main, maintain a really good quality of service.

"We genuinely believe that through intelligent collaboration we can deliver good services and deliver the cuts."

'Cuts are cuts'

Mr Ash said Suffolk had already saved about £600,000 through collaboration with Norfolk during major investigations over the past two years.

Matt Gould, chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Police Federation, said: "We don't have much in the way of fat to cut and consequently any loss of officers or staff is painful to them individually and operationally.

"These cuts are not being driven through any desire of the Chief Constable or the Suffolk Police Authority - they're purely being driven by the government's financial cuts.

"There are savings to be made through collaboration but cuts are cuts and you get less for less."

Ben Gummer, Conservative MP for Ipswich, said: "I'm pleased that [the Chief Constable] has been able to respond to the government's challenge to make the reductions while preserving the front line.

"If the government can deliver on reductions in paperwork, then the police will be released to do more on the front line even thought they'll have less back office support."

More on this story

Related Internet links

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