Pocklington and Market Weighton's Safety Concerns Over Police Cuts
7:54am 11th September 2014
(Updated 7:55am 11th September 2014)
East Riding councillors have raised concerns about the potentially damaging impact of radical changes to Humberside Police. The Humberside force is currently undergoing a massive restructure to achieve savings of £34.4 million by March 2015 (16 per cent of its overall budget) and cope with cuts in funding from central government. The ‘Building the Future’ restructure of Humberside Police will possibly see 700 fewer police officers since 2010 and 600 fewer civilian staff, the potential closure of 21 police stations, and a radical change in the way the force operates.
East Riding of Yorkshire councillors believe the restructure could have a very damaging impact on crime-fighting and community policing across the county. Councillor Shaun Horton, chairman of a special Police Review Panel which was set up to gain an understanding of the police restructure and its possible implications, said a number of issues needed to be addressed.
Councillor Horton said:”We want to help the police and work together to meet the pressures from the financial challenges, and hope the police respond positively by making time for full consultation on what we hope is seen as constructive feedback from the review panel on their ‘Building for the Future’ plans.” He added:”We are deeply concerned on behalf of East Yorkshire residents about the police’s redesign plans.
“The scale of change set in motion by the police’s ‘Building the Future’ plan is unprecedented and it seems to the review panel that the redesign process is taking place at undue pace, with an overly ambitious implementation date of April 2015. “The panel has also been disappointed by the lack of information and engagement from Humberside Police, with the Chief Constable and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner declining to take part in the review.”
However Humberside police maintain that a leaner force will still serve the people of Humberside effectively.Releasing a statement to calm concerns they said;
Humberside Police has a duty to provide policing services to the entire Humberside policing area, including the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. We have listened to the public’s desire for greater access to named officers in their communities, increased visibility and their desire to feel safe at home and at work. We also recognise that we need to modernise the force, remove archaic bureaucracy, enhance partnership working and provide the public with 21st Century policing.
In response to Central Government austerity measures, like other public sector organisations, Humberside Police must reduce its budget by a further £31m by 2019.To achieve the savings, provide modern policing and meet the public’s expectations we have had to radically rethink our approach to policing.
From the outset we have been open about the fact that, as a people-focused organisation, we will have to be a smaller, leaner force in the future. But by stripping out layers of bureaucracy, creating a large flexible team of staff, harnessing new technology and focusing our resources in the areas and at the times of greatest need, we are confident that we can maintain and enhance our service to the public.
The force have also promised that there will be no police stations closures and the wider rual area's will still be policed properly.
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