AROUND 1,000 police staff roles will be lost as part of huge cuts at West Yorkshire Police.
The force cannot meet the demand to cut 4% from this year’s budget with natural wastage and a recruitment freeze alone, so 250 redundancies will be made in “back office and administration” roles.
The announcement comes as the UK’s largest union Unison argues that the idea that there are expendable police staff is a myth.
They say 999 call handlers, forensic technicians and scenes of crime officers play a crucial role in crime fighting.
The changes are due to go before police governing authorities on Friday. The government said it would cut police spending by 20% in real terms by 2015.
West Yorkshire Police Deputy Chief Constable David Crompton, said: “Clearly any loss of staff is highly regrettable, for the past eight months the Force has been running Operation Transform, to ensure the necessary reductions have as little impact on frontline services as possible.
“West Yorkshire Police remains committed to retaining neighbourhood policing and protecting the public from the risk of serious crime or harm.
The chairman of West Yorkshire Police Authority, Clr Mark Burns-Williamson, sounded a less conciliatory note.
He said: “In an organisation where around 80% of the budget is spent on police officer and staff salaries, it was always going to be a challenge to cope with a reduction in spending of over £37m in 2011/12, and a potential £87m shortfall over the next four years.
“Unfortunately there will still need to be some job losses and police
officer numbers will also reduce as those who retire are not replaced.
“The front-loading of budget reductions announced by the Government means that roughly £64m less expenditure has to be absorbed in the next couple of years.
“We are working very closely with the Chief Constable and Force to achieve this...but no one should be under any illusion: This will impact on the way in which policing is delivered throughout West Yorkshire.”