Sussex Police to cut 100 jobs
Sussex Police will have to shed more than a hundred people in the coming year, according to Chief Constable Martin Richards.
Those officers and staff will be redeployed when possible as others retire, resign or switch jobs.
The chief constable said: “Managers have spoken individually with all the people working in posts likely to be affected and made it clear that these decisions have no reflection on their dedication to their jobs and the people of Sussex.
“We have no desire to lose good people.
“All officers affected will be redeployed to other areas, as required by law.
“Police staff will also be given comprehensive support to find alternative employment with Sussex Police.”
The force is due to carry out a formal consultation with staff and unions before making the cuts.
They are expected to lead to the force having 73 fewer officers and 26 fewer staff.
The central Training and Development Unit is expected to take the brunt of the cuts with 45 officers likely to be redeployed to posts in other divisions and departments.
At present the force has 12 vacant officer posts and 12 vacant staff positions. These will absorb some of those displaced by the cuts.
The job cuts are a result of financial pressures.
Last week the Government announced how much money it would give police forces around the country.
Sussex will receive £174 million – a rise of 2.5 per cent on this year’s £170 million. This is made up of the Home Office grant and revenue support grant. The announcement, made in a written ministerial statement, can be seen here.
The force does not expect the money raised from council tax bills to go up as much this year as it has in recent years. It has budgeted for almost £86 million next year, compared with £83 million this year.
As a result, it expects to have a total net revenue budget of almost £260 million.
It had planned to spend just over £265 million – compared with £253 million this year – and must now find savings of £5.4 million.
Apart from the savings from job cuts, overtime is expected to cost £600,000 less in the coming year.
Further savings include £500,000 from a deal with a cheaper energy supplier and £300,000 through a new software licensing deal.
Savings are also expected in the £1.6 million a year bill for agency staff.
The financial pressures are expected to grow in the coming years too, with the force expected to cut £35 million a year from its budget by 2015.
The cost-cutting measures are due to be discussed at a meeting of Sussex Police Authority on Thursday.
A report on the proposed cuts can be read here and the agenda can be seen here.
The meeting starts at 2pm at County Hall, Lewes, and is open to the public.
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These cuts are a direct result of a derisory Government funding settlement – and a Tory-controlled police authority wedded to the idea of a 2.5% council tax bill rise.
As a Green Party member of Sussex Police Authority I’ll be voting against these redundancies – we do have a choice!
For example, 31 of the 100 jobs to go could be saved by putting an extra 4p a week on a band D council tax bill – but of course higher rate tax payers will have to pay more.
It’s a simple choice: bobbies on the beat, or bobbies on the dole. I’ll be voting to keep them on the beat.