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£50m Thames Valley Police savings, 800 job cuts and council tax freeze approved
SAVINGS of about £50m over the next four years have been rubber stamped by police bosses.
In total, more than 800 jobs will go, including 256 police officers by 2015, although this may be the 'worse case scenario'.
But 'frontline' policing, primarily patrolling officers and neighbourhood teams have been protected.
The budget agreement for the coming year includes a freeze in The Thames Valley Police element of council tax.
Thames Valley Police Authority agreed the details on Friday.
Across the country, police forces are having to reduce on staff due to Government cuts.
Thames Valley Police's net annual budget has been set at £383.146million.
The 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.
Nationally, critics of the cuts say it is actually a 20 per cent reduction in real terms.
The savings will be delivered through “collaboration projects, a force restructure and a programme of reviews designed to make the force more efficient”, the authority said.
Freezing the council tax precept means policing in the region will cost council tax payers £154.30 in 2011/12 for the average Band D property.
Khan Juna, Chair of Thames Valley Police Authority said the organisation was taking a “planned and measured approach” in making savings.
“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 the force had long been braced for cuts.
“We are slimming down our management structures and back office functions, and looking at ways of making our processes more efficient,” she said.
“To protect the service we provide to the public, I have not reduced the number of officers on patrol or in neighbourhoods.”
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 before March.
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