Police axe 1,000 jobs to save cash in budget

Mark Burns-WIlliamson
Mark Burns-WIlliamson

POLICE chiefs confirmed 1,000 jobs will be axed across the district after £37m cuts to its budget.

Castleford Coun Mark Burns-Williamson, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority, said there would be an “inevitable” impact on policing as it decided how it would spend its £432.8m budget in 2011-12 – a decrease of 3.9 per cent from the previous year.

The reduced budget comes after a cut in government funding to the authority over the next four years, equating to £18.6m in 2011-12. Once price increases and other factors were included, the authority and force were left with the task of finding over £37m in savings.

Coun Burns-Williamson said: “We have made every effort to avoid making large numbers of people redundant by freezing both police officer and police staff recruitment, as well as undertaking a major restructuring programme of so called ‘back office’ and support functions.

“However, unfortunately there will still need to be some job losses and police officer numbers will also shrink as those who retire are not replaced.

“We are continuing to work very closely with the chief constable and the force in targeting the available resources to priority areas such as neighbourhood policing, but no-one should be under any illusion – this will inevitably impact on the way in which policing is delivered throughout West Yorkshire.

“Despite our representations to the Home Office on how the funding settlement is allocated, areas like West Yorkshire lose out, which has also been acknowledged recently by the police inspection body Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary.”

Deputy chief constable David Crompton added: “Now the budget has been set we anticipate that around 1,000 officer and police staff roles will have to be lost.

“The majority of these will be through natural leavers and the continuing recruitment freeze.

“However around 250 redundancies are expected to have to be made, the majority of which from back office and administration roles.”

The authority agreed to freeze the police element of the council tax for residents after receiving a government grant.

Band D households will pay continue to pay £130.50 per year or £2.50 per week, while bands A and B will pay £87 and £101.50 respectively.