Tayside Police seek redundancy volunteers

Image caption, All police officers and staff will be offered voluntary redundancy

Officers and civilian staff at Tayside Police are to be offered voluntary redundancy and early retirement in a bid to slash costs.

The force is making the move as it anticipates a 13% budget cut over the next three years.

No target has been set on the number of jobs to be shed, a spokeswoman for Tayside Police said.

The step was approved by members of the Tayside Joint Police Board who were meeting in Perth.

The board also considered a proposal to merge the police and fire control rooms in Tayside.

Offers of voluntary redundancy or early retirement will be made to all 626 staff at the force.

Details of the scheme will be published by the end of November.

'Balance books'

Chief Constable Justine Curran said following the UK comprehensive spending review, police forces in Scotland were now waiting for a more detailed announcement on budgets from the Scottish finance secretary.

She said her force needed to save £9m, and identify a further £3m to pay for the last year of the current three-year pay deal for officers and staff.

"Some people may believe the voluntary redundancy move is unnecessary when the details of the spending review are not known," she said.

"However, as chief constable, I have previously indicated that as an organisation, we will need to be smaller if we are to balance our books over the coming years."

She added: "This is being offered in advance of us having to invoke compulsory redundancies once the full impact of the comprehensive spending review has been assessed.''

Councillor Ian Mackintosh, Convener of Tayside Joint Police Board, said it was sadly "inevitable" that staff numbers would have to drop, but added: "We are committed to maintaining front-line policing as much as we can.

"It is our intention to achieve this with as little pain to individuals and the organisation as possible, and at the same time achieve value for money."

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