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Jobs at Cheshire Police could go in budget cuts

Published date: 31 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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SEVENTY jobs will go at Cheshire Police if budget proposals to cut millions of pounds are accepted.

Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer has put forward plans to save a total of £9.7 million.

Mr Dwyer says the job losses will be required as there has been four consecutive years of real terms cuts to his policing budget by the government, with £35m saved since 2010 and a further £34m which needs to be cut over the next four years.

The commissioner says he has managed to save £1.4million by reviewing all major procurement contacts but as 80 per cent of the policing budget goes on staff, 68 backroom office staff will lose their jobs and two PCSO’s will also go if the proposals are rubber stamped on February 7.

Mr Dwyer also annouced there will be no increase to the council tax precepts which goes on policing.

He said: "In this budget I have focussed on my key priorities of reducing crime and supporting victims. It has not been an easy budget to set as we are still facing cuts in funding from the government but I have also been mindful that the public of Cheshire are also facing difficult financial challenges, many have not received a pay rise in the last year and so I am not going to increase the amount they pay for policing."

Mr Dwyer also proposed a managed reduction of officers through retirement and force leavers which will allow the budget to recruit 50 new officers next year.

In addition the commissioner is proposing to invest in key priorities, including piloting a new neighbourhood policing scheme and working with communities to manage crime reduction and to support victims of crime.

The commissioner is also proposing to tackle cyber crime by allocating extra resources and working with partners to safeguard the most vulnerable children and young people who are being sexually exploited or are at risk.

Mr Dwyer added: "The continuing financial challenges cannot be underestimated.

The root and branch review has identified a clear way forward to achieving the required savings whilst maintaining and where possible improving services, I have set this budget to try, as far as possible, to meet the policing needs of the people of Cheshire without passing any costs directly on to them."

The total budget for policing in 2014/15 will be £189.8million.

The Police and Crime Panel will consider the budget proposals on February 7 and subject to their agreement, the police budget will be set.

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