Up to 250 Norfolk Police posts 'at risk'

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Between 150 and 250 police officer posts could go in Norfolk over the next four years as the police force cuts £25m from its budget.

The savings are part of a budget approved at a meeting of the Norfolk Police Authority.

As well as the loss of police officer posts, Norfolk Police is set to see a cut of 226 police staff and 45 police community support officers (PCSOs).

At present Norfolk Police employs 1,660 officers.

It employs 1,500 civilian staff members including PCSOs.

'Locally-based officers'

Norfolk Police are also looking to save money by merging some services with Suffolk Police.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: "Maintaining the current level of services is my aim for the constabulary, but, in order to do this, we will have to adopt a policing style that delivers services at a price the public can afford."

The savings are needed to meet 25% cuts in the government grants to Norfolk Police Authority as part of its spending review.

Strenuous efforts

The authority has agreed an overall revenue budget of £148m with no change to council tax rates for the coming 12 months.

Stephen Bett, chairman of the authority, said he was disappointed strenuous efforts to persuade the Home Office to credit Norfolk for previous cutbacks had been in vain.

Norfolk Police felt it should not be penalised by the foresight of realizing £19m efficiency savings since 2008 - savings that were pumped into reinforcing the frontline.

Legally, police officers cannot be made redundant, but posts can be left open and officers can be forced to retire after 30 years service.

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