West Mercia and Warwickshire police to cut further £30m

Leek Wootton control centre
Image caption Administration staff and control rooms, like those in Leek Wootton, are essential, said Unison

Police staff numbers could be cut in an attempt to save an extra £30m.

West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police have almost finished an existing three-year plan to cut spending by £30m, which started in 2012.

Now consultation is under way on how an additional £30m could be saved between the two forces between 2015 and 2018.

A spokesperson said it was not known how the cuts to administration, finance and operational support roles would affect front line officers.

Supt Gary Watson, from West Mercia Police, said: "It's too early for us to provide any real detail.

"Clearly protecting the front line will be a key part of what we need to do but, as with all organisations, the front line can't operate without support functions assisting it."

He said the total saving was expected to be divided approximately with £20m from West Mercia Police and £10m from Warwickshire Police.

Charlie Sarell, from the union Unison, said: "We're very, very anxious. Those staff are central to policing.

"If you get rid of police staff then police officers end up doing that [administration] and they're not out on the street.

"The cuts to policing have gone too far."

The forces, which work as an alliance, revealed in 2012 650 jobs would be lost.

The announcement said staff would be reduced from 5,400 to 4,750 by April 2016, with the number of PCs being cut from 2,300 to 2,210.

West Mercia Police is also in the process of closing 33 police stations and buildings to save £1.5m.

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