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17 May 2010, 17:10
Northants Police faces criticism after it was revealed the force was one of just two in the country to employ more police staff than police officers.
The research, by the Police Federation, found the number of civilian workers has increased by 120% since 2000 to 1'319, where as the number of police officers has only increased by 16% to 1'301.
The Police Federation says it poses a risk to the public as not as many officers are out on the streets.
Roy Woolliscroft, Chairman of Northamptonshire Police Federation said:
" It has caused me great concern for some time that there is no tangible evidence that suggests, let alone proves, the value brought by civilianising increasing numbers of police officer posts. At a time of financial restraint and when the public want a more resilient police service I now urge the new Home Secretary, Theresa May, and the Police Minister Nick Herbert to invest the limited finances in Police Officers, as opposed to the civilianisation of more police posts. At the same time I reiterate my request for them to carry out a full and independent review into posts already civilianised. "
But, Northamptonshire Police have hit back at the claims, saying that they don't employ too many non police staff, and civilian workers play an important role.
Chief Constable Adrian Lee said:
"I see it very much as a positive. This has not happened by default. This is not a sign of an organisation that has got itself into a position not knowing that. This is part of a special plan whereby we believe we're delivering the right blend of staff to deliver the services in Northamptonshire."
What the public want, that physical presence, that's done by a team, a team made up of police officers, police community support officers and police staff and my view is that we've got the right balance."