Sussex Police UNISON speaks out about cuts

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  • UNISON branch at Sussex Police is concerned about cuts
  • Up to 1,000 jobs are set to be cut - half of which are front-line officer jobs
  • The cuts are part of a bid to save £56m by 2020

UNISON has said axing 1,000 jobs could cause a ‘serious and fundamental loss of service’ at Sussex Police.

The union has spoken out after Chief Constable Giles York unveiled the new policing model for the force last Tuesday.

He announced 1,000 job losses in the next five years in a bid to save £56m as a result of government spending cuts.

The figures reveal that front-line posts are among those under threat.

In the past five years, Sussex Police has already had to make savings of £50m.

UNISON said this latest round of cuts will focus solely on jobs in an effort to save another £56m over the next five years.

These proposals are not driven by the desire to improve and enhance the service the force provides to the people of Sussex, and will mean a marked reduction in service.

Sussex Police has indicated that there will be 700 fewer officers and support staff, with another 300 staff to go from elsewhere in the force.

Andy Stenning, UNISON Branch Secretary for Sussex Police said, “Whilst we have sympathy with the situation Sussex Police find themselves in as a result of government- imposed cut backs, UNISON is opposed to these plans and will continue to fight to protect jobs and services.

“The force has partnered with an outside contractor to draw up these proposals- at a cost of £500,000 so far, with further costs to come.

“These proposals are not driven by the desire to improve and enhance the service the force provides to the people of Sussex, and will mean a marked reduction in service.

“This will reduce the workforce beyond a safe margin and lead to a serious and fundamental loss of service.

“It will also have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of our members as they struggle with excessive workloads and try hard to continue to serve the people of our communities.

“The majority of these cuts will focus on Neighbourhood Policing, with the loss of a number of PCSO posts.

“Frontline policing needs to be protected and we need to ensure it is rooted in our communities. Policing must be supported both financially and through proper and informed debate in our communities.

“This is why we support the scraping of the Police and Crime Commissioners and for them to be replaced by a properly elected Police Committee that is representative of the Communities the Force serves.

“UNISON will continue to work closely with Sussex Police to ensure our communities are safe and properly resourced.”

Chief Constable Mr York said, “My aim is to deliver policing more efficiently by embracing technology and multi agency working, reducing costs and engaging with the public in a way that suits them and us better.”

He also outlined a number of changes to the way the force works, with new mobile technology, restructuring the policing teams and he unveiled plans for a new ‘resolution centre’.

To watch a video on how the new local policing model will work, click here.