Millions saved but “tough decisions” ahead as further savings required

Police and crime commisioner Sir Graham Bright.

Police and crime commisioner Sir Graham Bright. - Credit: Archant

The scale of cost savings made by Cambridgeshire Constabulary has been revealed by police and crime commissioner Sir Graham Bright.

The county’s police and crime panel was told that £13.3million of savings had been found between 2013/14 and 2015/16 – but the commissioner warned that millions more would have to be saved in the years ahead.

But Sir Graham said that the savings had been made without reducing the number of frontline police officers.

According to Sir Graham, the number of officers in 2015/16 will be 1,343, with 990 of these being local policing officer posts. A total of 816 police staff and 150 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are also included in the budget. There will also be 300 Special Constables.

Sir Graham said: “Everyone has risen to the challenge of finding savings in every corner of the organisation to help balance the budget. To be in this position without having had to reduce officer numbers is a fantastic achievement.”

However, Sir Graham said that millions more would have to be cut from the police budget in the years ahead.

He said: “Savings over the coming years will be of a similar scale to those already achieved. Whilst we can be proud of the way the savings have been managed so far, the savings we need to achieve moving forward will require some tough decisions and changes to the way we work.”

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One of the ways that significant savings are expected to be made is through collaborating with other forces, notably with Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary.

At the same time there has been a significant investment in the adoption of modern mobile technology. Officers are being equipped with smart phones and tablets with the ability to examine 27 databases automatically and enable simultaneous completion of multiple administrative forms.