Over 500 Suffolk police jobs at risk

MORE than 500 jobs could be under threat at Suffolk police as the force faces up to budget cuts of up to 25pc, the county's Chief Constable has warned.

MORE than 500 jobs could be under threat at Suffolk police as the force faces up to budget cuts of up to 25pc, the county's Chief Constable has warned.

Simon Ash said that while the force hoped to preserve jobs, he had to be realistic about 'a difficult future'.

Current staffing levels stand at 1,250 police officers, 1,000 police staff and 300 volunteers in special forces - but the organisation is set to shrink in size as Home Office funding is cut back.

Mr Ash said the cuts were far greater than he had experienced in recent years.


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'I'm expecting something in the order of �20million cuts over the next four years,' he said.

Mr Ash said he was aware the public liked visible policing through officers on the beat and the force was doing all it could to preserve this aspect of the service.

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But he explained the force needed to remain realistic in the current climate.

'I think we will be an organisation which will be considerably smaller possibly to the tune of 500 or 600 people - that is a pretty significant change to the organisation,' he said.

The Home Office requires Suffolk Constabulary to make savings of �1.16m in this financial year's budget. During the last three years, the force has made �12m in savings.

More than 80pc of its current budget relates to human resources and Suffolk is already one of the lowest cost forces in England and Wales per head of population.

More than �500,000 has also been saved through the initiative of the Norfolk and Suffolk major investigation team.

Matt Gould, of the Suffolk Police Federation, said: 'The jobs won't just affect police staff, but also police officers and we don't employ officers for the fun of it - their jobs are crucial.

'The cuts will inevitably create an immense amount of strain on those that are left.'

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