Humberside Police to cut 21% of its frontline officers

Police station The report said 700 staff posts will be cut by March 2015

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Humberside Police is to lose 21% of its officers by 2015, more than twice the national average, according to a new report.

A report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said the force would lose 440 officers.

The report said the average reduction of officers in forces across England and Wales is 10%.

Humberside's chief constable said he was confident the cuts could be made without a "detriment to performance".

In addition to the cuts in the number of officers the force will shed 260 support staff, bringing the total number of job cuts up to 700 by 2015.

The losses are part of a plan to make savings of £23m in Humberside Police's budget.

Saving target

Chief Constable Tim Hollis said savings had been made by replacing police officers with civilian staff.

"We've looked very closely at police officer posts," he said.

"Those posts which required warranted police powers we've maintained and sustained. For example, we we haven't made reductions in our incident response capability.

"But, there are a lot of jobs where you don't actually need your powers as a police office.

"If that job can be done by a police staff member more cost effectively then that's part of what we've been doing by changing the workforce mix."

The report said the cutbacks should mean the force would achieve its saving target.

However, HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Northern Region Roger Baker said the reductions would leave the force with "a lower proportion of its police officers in frontline policing than in most other forces".

He added: "The force should consider how it can improve its crime fighting capacity to help keep the public in Humberside safe."

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