Police jobs at risk as drastic cuts hit force

Amber Valley’s chief superintendent has said police budget cuts will ‘inevitably’ affect policing services in the area.

Commander of Derbyshire Constabulary’s C division, which covers the Ripley and Heanor area, Supt Roger Flint has warned that operational budgets, the number of police officers and support staff will all face a reduction.

It comes as the force has to slash £24 million from its budget over the next four years after cuts to what it receives in funding from the Government.

He said: “A drop in funding on the scale that it is being proposed over the next four years will inevitably affect our ability to deliver the same level of operational policing that we do now.

“Derbyshire Constabulary is already a very lean organisation; its history in terms of under-funding is well documented so we start from a position which is already very low in comparison with other forces.”

Officer numbers will be cut by 123 over the next two years across Derbyshire and the number of police community support officers would be cut to 160, a reduction of 23. Another 112 civilian staff posts will also be axed.

Speaking about the cuts Chief Constable Mick Creedon said: “Most of our costs are people, a lot of our savings are going to have to come from people.

“We can do things in other areas but we have to save money on people first and foremost.”

From around 4,000 staff, 160 jobs have already gone without a single compulsory redundancy, said Chf Con Creedon.

It was revealed that staff whose jobs were at risk were told last Tuesday, some leaving in tears.

Cllr Philip Hickson, chairman of Derbyshire Police Authority, said it had been a difficult week.

He explained: “I certainly didn’t come into public service to be cutting services and telling people they were going to be let off but that is the situation.”

Other cost-cutting measures include fusing together parts of departments, looking to take police out of some of the 100 premises it has or reducing hours at stations rarely visited.

Collaboration with neighbouring forces is also being considered while the risks, threats and demands will be continually assessed.