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Suffolk police warning after hint at overtime cut

PUBLISHED: 15:16 07 March 2011

SUFFOLK'S police officers last night hit out at changes proposed by the Home Secretary and said communities across the county should be concerned by potential cuts.

The county’s Police Federation also joined its colleagues from across the country in attacking Theresa May for apparently “pre-empting” a major report on police pay and conditions which is due to be published tomorrow .

In a major speech last week, Mrs May said that in any organisation where £11billion, three-quarters of total spending, went on wages, it was clear pay would have to be considered in any review. She also said authorities should look at the cost of overtime.

A review of pay and conditions has been undertaken by former rail regulator Tom Winsor and is due to be published tomorrow.

A spokesman for the Home Office said Mrs May would only see the report when it was published.

Matt Gould, chair of the Suffolk Police Federation, said: “Officers often find themselves compelled to work long hours and it is right and proper that they should be compensated for working those additional hours particularly as such additional duties impact directly on officers’ families.”

He added: “We have a very low overtime rate, one of the lowest in the country, but it is right that offices should be compensated.

“Officers are told where they have to work in the county and could have to find themselves moving 70 miles at their own expense.”

During her speech Mrs May also said police forces should look at ways of cutting “back office” expenses – and praised what was happening in East Anglia.

She said: “Look at Suffolk and Norfolk, where they are creating a shared service platform for their back office support functions. This will deliver savings of approximately £10million per year from their joint budgets.”

A statement from the Suffolk Police Federation said: “Communities should be genuinely concerned that should the cuts be as far-reaching as the Home Secretary suggests, this will result in a significant impact on the service which can be provided by the police in areas such as Suffolk which are historically under-resourced.”

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