Police confirm 142 jobs will be axed

Police appeal for witnesses
Police appeal for witnesses

MORE than 140 jobs will be axed by Humberside Police over the next year, the force has confirmed.

Humberside Police Authority have approved plans to make £30m in savings by 2016 with £5m to be saved next year.

The force said the 142 positions, which include beat bobbies and detectives, will be lost through voluntary redundancies and retirement.

Currently, Humberside Police has 1,939 warranted officer posts but that number will drop to below 1,800 by April 2012.

The reduction in staff would “unavoidably have an impact on how operational policing is delivered,” according to Chief Constable Tim Hollis.

He said that despite the cuts he needed to ensure the public was protected.

“A lot of the higher level risk - serious organised crime, counter-terrorism, internet paedophiles - they’re dealt with by experienced and skilled investigators working on IT behind the scenes so I’ve got to meet all those risks and try and protect the community from all those harms,” he said.

Eighty officers’ jobs have gone in the past year already, with officers who have left not being replaced.

This means, with the cuts over the next 12 months, the number of those serving the region will have been reduced by 10 per cent over two years.

Humberside Police’s new budget includes a two-year pay freeze, using £6m from its bank reserves and sharing resources with other police authorities where possible.

Chris Matthews, chair of Humberside Police Authority, said: “Currently we’re looking at scientific services, fingerprinting and things like that.

“We’re also looking at procurement where we hope to make significant savings that can be delivered on a regional basis unlike neighbourhood policing teams that deliver locally.”

Despite the cuts the force still plans to build new headquarters in Hull to replace the facilities at Queen’s Gardens which will cost £32m.

Mr Hollis said: “The facilities from prisoner handling and safe keeping at Queen’s Gardens are dire, both the people who come into our custody and my own staff are at risk if the facilities aren’t good.”

When the proposals were revealed earlier in the month, Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Hull North, expressed concern about the speed and scale of the cuts.

She said: “Humberside has already seen a fall in police numbers in recent months. But with the heaviest government cuts still to take effect this is just the thin end of the wedge.”

Additional cuts are expected in subsequent years, starting with a further £11.1m in 2012/13.