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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumbria police service cuts may mean fewer officers out on the beat

FEWER officers could be on the beat in Cumbria if another round of cuts takes hold.

Cumbria police are also set to cut management positions to the bone – and will increasingly rely on technology so it can “work with less”.

The impact of further cuts is spelled out in a report from the office of Cumbria’s crime commissioner, Richard Rhodes, ahead of a crunch meeting over council tax.

“Visible policing, problem solving to prevent crime and disorder and public reassurance will be less,” it states.

It has already been revealed that police numbers in Cumbria are set to drop to 1,070 by 2017. The force currently budgets for 1,134 officers.

Now a top-level document shows the effects this will have in the coming years on how policing is run, with finance chiefs having to cope with an expected drop in funding of millions of pounds.

The report states: “The financial impact of the reduction in funding and rising operational costs has a direct implication for the numbers of police officers, community support officers and police staff.

“This in turn impacts on the services that can be provided.”

Police numbers have dropped from a high of 1,198 officers before budget cuts began to bite.

Community policing teams – a squad of officers covering a set beat – were cut from 22 to 10 and police stations were also sold.

The report says that even with new cuts in police numbers it “will still be possible to work to a community policing model” but “there will, however, be a need to further reduce the number of teams.

“The operational changes deliver a Cumbria policing model operating on 1,070 police officers and 85 community support officers.

“The model is, however, reliant on investment in technology to maximise the productivity of officers and staff so that the constabulary can work with less.”

Mr Rhodes has proposed a 1.93 per cent increase, which would mean a bill for a Band D household would go up by £3.96 to £208.62 per year.

The proposal will be considered by Cumbria’s police and crime panel at a meeting in Kendal on Thursday.

Have your say

More scare tactics, we here this every time? & again I say you cannot sack a serving officer. The fact that we hardly see officers on the beat is down to mismanagement, If officers were paid the wages they were due, there should not be a problem, most of the pay the officers get are paid for overtime, this is paid at at time & a half or even double time & it is not value for the Tax payers, last month there was outcry in this paper because of time taken off because of sick leave in the force? come on Cumbria Constabulary sort it out & give us Value for money, A fair days work for a fair days pay! Who knows we may even see Real a reduction in the Crime Figures?

Posted by Wally! on 19 February 2014 at 22:31

Is that less police patrols on the streets of Barrow on cold wet day's or less police patrols on the streets of Barrow during warm sunny day's when you always see the police in pairs in their shirt sleeves?

Posted by Tucker on 18 February 2014 at 19:49

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