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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 12:21 GMT
Chiefs cut for frontline officers
Police officers
An increase in police numbers could be funded by senior posts going
Senior police posts could be shed by Scotland's largest police force to free money for frontline officers.

New Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Steve House said his main priority was to free up all resources to increase the number of beat officers.

"This is what the public quite rightly demand," he said. Superintendent posts are expected to be among the first cut.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill told BBC Radio Scotland communities would be very grateful to the chief constable.

He said: "What we want to make sure is that we have a visible police presence in our communities - whether they are superintendents or constables is a matter for him [Mr House] to decide."

The number of superintendent posts is to be cut from about 80 to 55.

The 2m salary saving would be invested in new recruits.

Mr House said: "I am sure that this, along with other initiatives, will allow the people of Strathclyde to see more foot patrol officers on their streets tackling levels of violence and anti-social behaviour in the community."

Joe Grant, the general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said he had campaigned for years to get more officers on the beat.

"Each chief constable has to decide the balance of back-room and front-room police," he said.

"Essentially this move will spread the pain more evenly across all ranks in the force."

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