Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Cumbria Police to cut officer numbers

Craig Mackey
Craig Mackey says the force needs to make budget savings

Cumbria's police chief has said that compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out as the force tries to save millions of pounds over the next five years.

The force is reviewing its structure, so some officers doing backroom jobs will be replaced by civilian staff.

As a result, by the end of the 2009/10 financial year there will be 30 fewer officers within the force.

However, restructuring will mean that an additional number of officers will be deployed to front line duties.

Chief Constable Craig Mackey said: "Like organisations throughout the public sector, the police are substantially financed through the government and council tax.

"These income streams are expected to come under greater pressure for the foreseeable future.

'Stronger position'

"Work has already started in our back office functions to make budget savings and be more efficient and effective.

"The constabulary at all times seeks to avoid compulsory redundancy by considering alternative approaches, controlling recruitment and redeployment, but this does present an increasingly difficult challenge.

"Unfortunately, there is some possibility of compulsory redundancies."

He added: "I am firmly committed that our police officers should undertake public facing roles.

"As a result of these changes the Constabulary will end the financial year with 30 less police officers, but in a stronger position to tackle crime on our streets from the additional number of officers redeployed to frontline duties, and a reshaping of our current frontline policing structure."

The proposals will be presented to the governing body, the Cumbria Police Authority, on 17 February.

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