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Police jobs to go in budget cuts

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Thames Valley Police Authority has confirmed that 800 jobs will go over the next four years

ABOUT 800 jobs will go at Thames Valley Police over the next four years as the force looks to save around £50m, it has been confirmed.

The Thames Valley Police Authority recently learnt that its grant allocation had been reduced by 3.7 per cent for 2011/12, an allocation that is anticipated to fall by 11.75 per cent in total over the next four years, prompting the force to look for savings through collaboration projects, a force restructure and a programme of reviews designed to make the force more efficient.

However, on Friday, the authority agreed the police budget for 2011/2012, setting the net annual budget at £383.146m and unanimously agreeing to freeze the policing element of the council tax precept, meaning the average Band D property in the Thames Valley will pay £154.30 in 2011/2012.

The chairman of the Thames Valley Police Authority, Khan Juna, said: “These are challenging financial times for all public services and Thames Valley Police Authority is no different. The budget approved by the Authority sets out a planned and measured approach to reducing our costs.

“The planned savings initiatives will result in the managed reduction of around 800 posts and associated staffing costs, which will be spread across the four years. 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."

The chief constable of Thames Valley Police, Sara Thornton, said the force had been preparing for cuts for some time, adding that significant savings had already been identified.

She said: “Our priority has always been to protect the service we provide to the public, and I am confident that we will continue to do this.”

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