HUMBERSIDE Police are looking to make almost £30million in savings over the next four years.
At a meeting held last week, the Police Authority Chairman Coun Chris Matthews and Humberside Police chief constable Tim Hollis pledged a joint commitment to continue to deliver the best possible service, in spite of the reduction in their budget.
They stated that careful planning would ensure change is managed and measured, adding that work is already underway to refine a plan that will allow priorities to be achieved and financial challenges to be met while ensuring that the public continue to be protected.
At the meeting held in Hull last Tuesday, Coun Chris Matthews explained how preparations had begun a long time before the Comprehensive Spending Review, to balance the budget and make savings.
He said: “The Police Authority and the Force have been planning for austerity for a long period of time and have been able to supplement some of the comprehensive savings.
“This extensive forward-planning will pay off over the next four years, we know there’s still a lot of work to do, but the chief constable has robust plans in place to effectively manage the cuts.
“The Authority will be releasing £6m of reserves to assist the chief constable in implementing this change over the next two years and in particular, to ensure quality policing is delivered and try and avoid the need for compulsory redundancies.”
Speaking after the meeting, Humberside Police chief constable, Tim Hollis said: “Although the plans have been developed under pressure of time and money, they have been built upon the sound foundation of the successful changes we have introduced across the force in the last six years.
“We build on the strength of our current structure – Neighbourhoods; Incident Response; Investigation; Specialist protective services and good Business Management; all of which will be maintained, albeit in a moderately reduced form.
“We have also taken account of the risks associated with change, public confidence, resilience, impacts on staff and the results of the public consultation.
“Our plans are comprehensive, scrutinising all aspects of Humberside Police, including the number of senior posts, our structure and the size and capacity of all of our units.”
Chief Constable Hollis admitted that the budget is ‘very demanding’ and warned of hard times ahead, but added: “I am confident that we will meet them successfully because as a Force, we are built on solid foundations and because of the good people who are proud to work for Humberside Police and deeply committed to serving their local communities.”