Friday, 23 March 2012

Police in West Midlands to Lose 81 Officers.

By Ben Aulakh

More than 80 police staff in the West Midlands are likely to lose their jobs as part of a raft of new cost cutting measures, required under the government’s deficit reduction plans.

As part of £16 million of savings required by the force, 234 police staff will be taken from their current jobs and given new roles, while a further 151 currently vacant positions will remain empty.

The process will mean the region’s biggest force is set to lose 81 frontline officers in the next two years.

The measures are part of £126 million of required efficiencies earmarked by West Midlands Police under the government Comprehensive Spending review.  

The force had already announced £25 million of savings for 2012/13 early this year, and on Thursday they put forward plans for another £16 million in cost cutting measures across the force region in 2013/14.

Senior officers used a process called Priority Based Budgeting, PBB, to identify the areas where vital cash could be saved.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Thompson said, “The context of PBB is the £126m the force needs to save but, with hindsight, even if we didn't have to make those savings, we'd still be implementing PBB for the benefits it has delivered.

“The process we are implementing is the most intensive and effective of any force in the country and has helped us mature as an organisation.”

“PBB requires us to look at our service levels, the volume – whether we can reduce our demands – and our methods – ways we can work differently – because these three things make up the cost of our activities.”

The force has used the PBB process to scrutinise budgets across a number of force areas such as tackling crime, finance, local policing, intelligence, policing support.

Senior officers stress that they have worked hard to minimise the impact of cost savings on its workforce, and will fully support any staff facing redundancy.

DCC Thompson added, “We are acutely aware that this isn’t just about abstract savings but about people and we acknowledge that this is a difficult time for those affected by the PBB process.

“However the financial position we are in means that challenging and sometimes painful decisions have to be taken”

Video courtesy of West Midlands Police on Youtube.

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