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800 jobs are to go from Thames Valley Police, after savings of 50 million pounds have been approved.
The Thames Valley Police Authority's agreed it's budget for the next four years after the government cut it's funding by almost 12 percent.
The net annual budget has been set at £383.146million. Following confirmation this month of next year’s level of government grant funding, Thames Valley Police Authority’s grant allocation has been reduced by 3.7 per cent for 2011/12, and is anticipated to fall by 11.75 per cent in total over the next four years.
In response to the planned reduction in government funding until 2014/15, Thames Valley Police will need to save in the region of £50 million over the next four years. These savings will be delivered through collaboration projects, a Force restructure and a programme of reviews designed to make the Force more efficient.
The Authority unanimously decided to freeze the policing element of the council tax precept. The freeze in the police element entitles Thames Valley Police Authority to a government grant equivalent to a local council tax increase of 2.5 per cent, which is worth approximately £3.3million.
This means policing in Thames Valley will cost council tax payers £154.30 in 2011/12 for a Band D property.
Khan Juna, Chair of Thames Valley Police Authority said:
“These are challenging financial times for all public services and Thames Valley Police Authority is no different. The budget approved by the Authority today sets out a planned and measured approach to reducing our costs. The planned savings initiatives will result in the managed reduction of around 800 posts and associate staffing costs, which will be spread across the four years. We will continuously work to find greater efficiencies in non-staff costs in order to minimise redundancies as far as possible. Our priority is to maintain visible frontline policing and we are working with the Chief Constable to ensure we continue to provide the policing services local people want. “
Thames Valley Police Chief Constable, Sara Thornton, said:
“Today’s budget announcement sets out the funding available to us, and the savings we will have to achieve as a Force over the next four years. The Force has been preparing for cuts for some time, and we have already identified significant savings. We are saving money by collaborating with other Forces as far as possible. We are also slimming down our management structures and back office functions, and looking at ways of making our processes more efficient. Our priority has always been to protect the service we provide to the public, and I am confident that we will continue to do this.”
An information leaflet, summarising the budget and the level of police council tax per valuation band, will be sent by post to council tax payers at the end of February.
The Future of Thames Valley Police
Along with cuts, the force has outlined it's aims for the next three years incluidng cutting crime, catching criminals and cutting costs. The six objectives are:
Khan Juna, Chair of the Police Authority said:
"The Authority works hard to seek the views of people from all communities in order to shape the way policing is delivered across the Thames Valley. The Policing Strategy outlines how we intend to respond to the policing priorities identified by our communities over the next three years, as well as responding to the tough economic climate."
“We know that deploying officers in your communities is a priority. That’s why the Authority and the Force are working closely to protect visible policing services such as local patrol teams, neighbourhood officers and PCSOs as far as possible in the challenging times ahead.”
Chief Constable Sara Thornton said:
“The strategic priorities announced today reflect the views and wishes of our Thames Valley communities concerning the kind of police service they want us to deliver."
“Over the next three years the focus will continue to be on local policing and providing a visible police presence on the streets. We are committed to cutting crimes that are of most concern to the public and in protecting people from the most serious harm. In order to do this we will be reducing unnecessary costs and bureaucracy, and continuing to find more efficient ways of working. The Force has already made significant steps in this area.”