�9m overtime bill for Suffolk police
MORE than �9m has been spent on overtime payments to Suffolk police officers and civilian staff over in the last three years.
The figures, released in response to a parliamentary question, show that since 2007/08 – when the force's spend on overtime totalled �3.9m – the bill has dropped each year.
In 2008/09, Suffolk police paid officers and staff �3.3m but that figure fell to �2.5m last year.
Over the three-year period, the annual average paid per officer has fallen from �2,687 to �1,686.
Assistant chief constable Paul Marshall said measures had been put in place in recent years to reduce spend on overtime.
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Mr Marshall added: 'The reality of modern policing is that it is unpredictable, so there will always be the need for overtime. However, it must be closely monitored, not only to manage our finances, but to also manage the welfare of officers.
'Over the last two years we have worked hard to keep overtime costs down in several ways.
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'This has included setting up a Resource Management Unit, which enables us to match our resources better to demand and the Criminal Investigation Bureau, which has resulted in a number of initial crime investigations being conducted by specialist officers by telephone rather than using officers on patrol.'
He said the force is still waiting for the exact budget for policing in Suffolk, which is expected in early December, to realise the impact public spending cuts will have.
'We are doing all we can to minimise the impact on delivering policing services to the public although it is inevitable that there will be less police officers and police staff,' he added.