PCSO posts added to the cull of a thousand Sussex police jobs

Posted On 15 Sep 2010 at 7:36 pm

More than a hundred people who applied to be police community support officers are being contacted by Sussex Police and told the jobs have been withdrawn.

The move follows the announcement by the force that budget cuts could affect more than a thousand staff.

About 500 police officers and 550 non-uniform staff are affected by the cuts which come as the force tries to save £52 million by 2015.

Chief Constable Martin Richards spoke of “putting the public at the heart of policing” as he prepared to shed more than one in six jobs.

He said that his aim was to provide the best possible service to the people of Sussex while implementing the spending cuts imposed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government.

The precise amount that the force will have to save will not be known until after the Government’s autumn spending review on Wednesday 20 October.

The chief constable said: “PCSOs are highly valued and are an integral part of our organisation.

“They deliver public-facing policing and, alongside other neighbourhood colleagues, are at the heart of the local communities we serve.

“As with police officer recruits, and in line with a number of other police forces, we have had to assess the likelihood of being able to progress these applications.

“We remain dedicated to local policing but know we are unlikely to be able to employ as many new PCSO recruits in the foreseeable future.”

The force is in the process of contacting 116 people to tell them that their applications to be PCSOs have been withdrawn.

Forty-seven people from the recruitment pool will be told that they are being retained.

They have been chosen because of their skills, experience and geographical location to retain a spread of candidates across the county who can fill posts as and when the need arises.

Mr Richards said: “These people will be incredibly disappointed and I would like to thank them for their desire to join Sussex Police and their commitment they have already shown.

“I hope they understand this situation is not of our making and I would urge them to re-apply once we re-open the door for recruitment.

“Unfortunately at this time I cannot say when this will be.”

He added: “The spending challenge provides an opportunity for us to put people, not paperwork, at the heart of policing.

“This means focusing on what matters most to the public and freeing our officers and staff from bureaucracy to do just that.

“Jobs cuts are inevitable for both police officers and staff, but we aren’t simply becoming a smaller force, we’re fundamentally changing the way we police to put people at the centre of all we do.

“This means unburdening officers and staff from unnecessary paperwork and process, freeing them to use their initiative and respond to local needs.

“The budgetary situation is not of our making and public organisations across the country are facing similar challenges.

“But although we have no choice in saving money, we’re working hard to ensure that improving the way we police is our driving principle, not desperate cost-cutting.

“We’re working closely with the police authority to scrutinise where we can streamline processes.

“Of course we don’t want any of our people to lose their jobs, but this is a reality when faced with spending cuts of this magnitude.”

“We are still in the very early stages of this process and these are the best estimates possible at this time.

“Specific roles that could be affected have not yet been identified.

“We are keeping the Police Federation, Unison and other staff organisations fully aware as the project progresses, so they can assist in supporting anyone likely to be affected.”

Steve Waight, vice-chairman of Sussex Police Authority, said: “There are some very tough decisions that have had to be made in order to achieve necessary savings, and further difficult choices are still to come.

“Working closely with Sussex Police, the police authority has already made some key decisions to make savings and these post reductions are an inevitable part of this process.

“The October meeting of the police authority will be a difficult one where hard choices and the further realities of the budget savings will be discussed.

“While the police authority will seek to ensure that the quality of policing in Sussex is not affected, undoubtedly difficult judgments will need to be made which may result in changes to the way Sussex is policed in the future.”

In July the force published some of its initial proposals for the Serving Sussex 2015 project to cut staff and spending in a document that can be read here.

Leave a Reply

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.