Cleveland Police to lose 300 officers by 2014

Cleveland Police is to cut the number of officers by at least 300 by 2014 as part of a plan to save about £26m.

Temporary Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer said the force faced "unsettling" and "challenging" decisions which were being discussed with staff.

The force's officer establishment is expected to reduce from 1,727 to about 1,400 by the end of next year.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said despite the cuts frontline services would be preserved.

Ms Cheer said: "We have had to transform the way in which we operate because we are losing 300 police officers by 2014.

'Substantial cuts'

"We simply could not stay as we are and continue to provide the same level of service to members of the public with fewer officers.

"We needed a structure that would also allow us capacity if there are further financial cuts to the force, and work has been ongoing for the last six months to design a structure that would work for us.

"This is largely about a re-organisation internally so that members of the public do not see any change to the service we deliver."

She added: "Neighbourhood Policing will continue to be at the heart of everything we do.

"Any kind of change can be unsettling, and we have carried out and will continue to carry out consultation with our police officers and staff, our police partner staff and other agencies that we work with to ensure that people are kept informed throughout the process as well as raise concerns and put forward ideas about the best way to implement the new model."

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: "Everyone is well aware that the force faces substantial cuts to funding and police numbers and so changes have to be made.

"However, I have made it clear that, despite these pressures, neighbourhood policing must remain the priority and no local community should lose its Neighbourhood Team."

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