Police Jobs Could Go, Chief Constable Warns

UP to 280 police officers could lose their jobs because of public spending cuts, the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence has warned. Mrs Spence said she was preparing for contingency cuts of between 10 and 20 per cent. Mrs Spence said the cut

UP to 280 police officers could lose their jobs because of public spending cuts, the Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence has warned.

Mrs Spence said she was preparing for contingency cuts of between 10 and 20 per cent.

Mrs Spence said the cuts could wipe out 20 per cent of the force budget. The shortfall would affect the force "across the board" which would mean frontline officers would take a major hit.

If the worse came to the worst, this would mean that 280 officers would be lost out of a force of 1,400.


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Mrs Spence, who has previously asked the Government to pay for another 100 officers to deal with an increased population, including foreign nationals, warned of the impact on what she described as an already cash-strapped force.

She said: "The big issue around cuts in real terms, and this is in the context of my continuing campaign for extra resources and officers, that we are deal dealing with an ever-increasing population.

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"About 80 per cent of our budget is in people and if the cuts were 20 per cent, which is extreme, they would have to be made across the board.

"This year, we are already seeing an overspend in our interpretation budget. We have the most productive officers in the country and we are a very lean organisation, but we are already low on staff and officers."

The news comes in the same week that Government inspectors have graded Cambridgeshire police as 'fair' after examining the force to see whether it has met the criteria of the national Policing Pledge.

All 43 constabularies in England and Wales were graded on 10 aspects of their work, including how they interact with and respond to the public and how quickly they deal with 999 calls.

Only eight forces were graded above 'fair' (out of poor, fair, good and excellent).

Mrs Spence told a press conference at Hinchingbrooke Police Headquarters on Thursday that, overall, she thought the grading was just.

However, since the inspection in May, things had improved, she said. If some aspects were inspected now, they should get awarded 'good', the next grade up, she added.

"In May, we agree that we needed to improve, but this inspection is about improvement of services.

"Five years ago, we were a failing force, but we have used feedback to change our processes. We are people led, not process led. This has helped us to stop fixating on targets.

"Only a third of policing is dealing with crime - two thirds is maintenance (of good order). We are the 24/7 social service."

Turn to Page 9 for full report.

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