Police responding 'effectively' to financial cuts despite 500 PC job losses
PUBLISHED: 18:00 27 July 2014
A GREATER proportion of police officer jobs are being cut at Avon and Somerset Constabulary compared to the average across England and Wales.
But the force is responding ‘extremely effectively’ to the challenges of Government cuts and its work to ensure a stable financial position has been described as ‘outstanding’ by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).
HMIC has written an independent report evaluating how all police forces in the country are coping after funding cuts.
The report shows by March 2015, Avon and Somerset will have lost 511 police officer jobs since 2010 – a reduction of 15 per cent.
The average proportion of such losses across England and Wales is 11 per cent.
The constabulary identified it needed to save £45.9million between March 2011 and March 2015.
During the spending review period, crime has reduced by 17 per cent compared to 14 per cent in England and Wales.
Acting Constable John Long said: “It is great testament to our staff that they have embraced the challenges posed by the tight financial restrictions placed on us and are committed to keeping our communities feeling safe and are working to continue to drive down crime.”
In January, Avon and Somerset Constabulary unveiled a new operating model to help it make savings, and announced the loss of more than 100 officers.
But the number of police staff jobs is set to rise by six per cent to 1,981 while 17 per cent of these jobs are being cut in the rest of England and Wales.
Avon and Somerset will reduce the number of PCSOs by 16 per cent.
Despite this, the constabulary is reallocating its workforce, and the number working on the frontline is projected to increase from 79 per cent to 80 per cent.
The report says: “Avon and Somerset Constabulary has responded extremely effectively to their spending review challenge.
“It is looking to the longer term and is taking the necessary decisions to ensure future sustainability.”