Thames Valley Police cut officer jobs to help save £45million

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A total of 147 police officer posts will go as part of a £45million cost-cutting mission by Thames Valley Police.

Chief Constable Sara Thornton has admitted the force cuts over the next three years will be “challenging”, but remains confident it will not impact on front-line services.

The changes will see 53 police officers converted into support staff roles over the next 12 months. There will also be a redesign of initial training given to new officers, which will save the force £2.8million - the equivalent of 94 posts.

Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, says he is committed to fight for fair funding and has already had discussions with Anthony Stansfeld the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley.

Mr Lancaster said: “Despite budgetary pressures, locally we have seen an increase in police officer numbers in recent years and there are no plans to reduce numbers in the future.

“Equally I’m pleased that overall crime continues to fall in Milton Keynes thanks to the excellent work of our officers.”

But Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, said the latest news was “worrying” for Milton Keynes.

He said: “We were always promised frontline police would be protected yet Thames Valley is struggling to make a further £45 million of cuts.

“Our local police do an incredible job on a tight budget and it will be difficult to absorb more cuts.”

Thames Valley Police have already identified £24 million of savings and work is now ongoing to find the remaining £21 million.

Chief Constable Thornton added: “We remain committed to identifying innovative ways to reduce costs without impacting on our front-line services.

“We recognise that this will become more difficult as we move forwards and having a robust medium term financial plan, which is flexible, is essential in our relentless drive to reduce the cost of policing whilst maintaining service and performance levels.”