Suffolk Police Federation warns against traffic officer cuts

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Suffolk Police Federation has criticised plans to halve the number of traffic officers in the county.

A proposal has been made to Suffolk Police Authority to cut the traffic unit staff from 45 to 21.

Traffic units are being merged across Norfolk and Suffolk as the two forces attempt to save £9.8m between them.

Matt Gould, chairman of the Suffolk Police Federation, said: "We need to maintain the numbers that we've got to maintain the service that we provide."

Mr Gould said he had spoken to officers about the proposals.

"The police authority are the people who finally sign off on these matters, but the constabulary has made their plans known to the officers concerned," said Mr Gould.

"These officers are not just involved in speed enforcement, they provide an invaluable service to local police officers and members of the public in responding to all kinds of jobs - not just traffic-related matters."

Insp Bruce Gent, from Suffolk Police's roads policing unit, said public sector cuts had led to the merger with Norfolk Police and the proposed reduction of traffic officers.

He said: "We do have other officers within our specialist operations world such as firearms officers who will start to take up some of the slack and become more dual role and take on some of the roads policing functions.

"We're doing what we can to maintain the level of service on the primary routes in both Norfolk and Suffolk."

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