Frequently asked questions
Q. How will the budget cuts affect policing in my neighbourhood?
A. Northumbria is a high performing force and that will not change.
We will continue to work with communities, find out their concerns and deliver a service that meets their needs and addresses local problems.
Furthermore every effort will be made to protect, as far as possible, the numbers of neighbourhood and 24/7 response officers, detectives who support neighbourhoods and CSO patrol.
Q. Will I see fewer police officers on the street?
A. We are committed to preserving as far as possible the numbers of officers who police our community.
Q. How much money does the force need to save?
A. We need to save £57million over the next three years.
Q. How will you save money without reducing services?
A. We are committed to maintaining the policing service to the public. The Business Reviews launched last year have focussed on areas where bureaucracy can be reduced and processes can be streamlined to maximise effectiveness in support of operational policing.
Q. How will centralising resources improve service delivery and deliver value for money?
A. Centralising some resources will allow us to be more flexible and provide support where it is needed most. There are economies of scale in having one central team rather than several smaller teams as it allows for greater resilience and reduced management costs.
Q. Will this happen straight away?
A. Changes will not be introduced suddenly and will only be implemented once full consultation with those affected has taken place. Even then implementation will be phased.
Q. Will police staff be made redundant?
A. We have to reduce the number of police staff posts by 825 by March 2013. This is in addition to the reduction of posts we think we will achieve through natural turnover.
It is hoped that reductions in workforce numbers will be achieved through natural turnover and voluntary redundancy.
An enhanced voluntary redundancy scheme was launched last year and has received more than 700 expressions of interest.
Q. Will you be reducing the number of police officers?
A. We have frozen recruitment for both police staff and police officers. We expect to see a reduction in police officer numbers through natural turnover by approximately 318 posts by March 2013.
Police officer numbers will gradually reduce as people retire and as a result of the recruitment freeze. However we are committed to protecting as far as possible the numbers of officers in neighbourhood teams and 24/7 response and CSO Patrol and where vacancies arise in these areas they will filled by officers who are carrying out other roles in the force.
Q: How can you get rid of so many police staff posts without police officers having to “fill in”?
A: We are not planning to put police officers into support functions. Indeed we are moving officers from operational support roles to front line posts.
We have business reviews in place to streamline our processes, cut out bureaucracy and duplication. This will ensure we are maximising efficiency.
Q. What happens after two years?
A. The Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review covers a four year period with the majority of cuts needing to be made in the first two years.