Police prepare for cutbacks

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POLICE officers, at all levels, will find themselves doing more paperwork due to Government cuts, according to Calderdale’s divisional commander.

But Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern, said he would be looking for new ways of providing the public with the support needed so they can keep front line officers out on the streets where they belong.

Government spending cuts will result in a £90.5million (15 per cent) reduction between 2011-2015. Overall, nearly 2,250 police jobs will be cut over the next four years.

That is likely to see more than 750 less officers and a total reduction of around 1,400 civilian staff losses in the same period.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has issued a report outlining how police forces should manage cuts in spending and West Yorkshire Police force is deemed to be well prepared.

Chief Supt Hardern said: “I would like to echo our Chief Constable’s words in that if we are to support frontline services from the worst of the cuts, we have to look at support functions.

“Less critical aspects of our business will go and we will focus on priorities on the frontline.”

The force has pledged to protect the Neighbourhood Policing Teams including the Lower Valley NPT which covers the Brighouse area.

“The force is committed to retaining the current structure of its local NPTs and to delivering local policing,” said Chief Supt Hardern.

“Just as the Chief Constable is doing all he can to minimise the impact on front line policing, I am doing all I can to deliver local policing services through neighbourhood teams, emergency response and locally based detectives.”

Since April this year, Chief Supt Hardern said there had been a 11 per cent drop in crime in Calderdale.

He said every division and department will have to take a share of the cuts, with some taking a greater share than others. But what Chief Supt Hardern will endeavour to do is to minimise the impact on delivering local policing.

“What we need more than ever is to continue the strong partnership between the police, our partner agencies who are suffering the same sort of cuts and the public and to carry on developing the relationship without local communities,” he said.

The cuts will mean though that officers will incur extra duties but Chief Supt Hardern will be reviewing the resourcing structure of the Calderdale division to ensure it is as efficient as it can be.

“Some officers will be working in ‘back office’ functions as they do now but what I want to ensure is that we minimise the extra duties on those officers who are working directly with the public,” he said.