England

'Bold reshaping' for Durham Police force

Durham Police
Image caption Durham Police will operate under a "hubs and spokes" model

Plans to change the way the Durham Police force operates have been announced.

A series of functional commands will direct officers to where they are most needed, rather than being governed by geographic boundaries, as at present.

Durham Police Authority has approved the move, which is aimed at redistributing existing resources more effectively.

The force is facing a 20% budget cut over the next four years.

Functional commands, known as "hubs and spokes", will include areas such as neighbourhood policing, crime investigation, and support services.

The force described the move as a "bold re-shaping".

Chief Constable John Stoddart said: "Our ultimate aim is that members of the public will experience no change in the way we operate, other than a continuing focus on improved service delivery.

"By defining our future direction and structure now, and taking bold but considered steps to prepare for future challenges, we can avoid the risk of implementing misdirected changes that save money in the short term, but cost the organisation and communities, in terms of future service delivery."

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