A new operating model from Avon and Somerset Police will deliver £8million of savings to contribute to an overall £42million they have to save from the current Comprehensive Spending Review.
The £8million will be found by a reduction of 134 police officer posts overall, 61 of them PCs with the remainder coming from every rank up to and including chief superintendent that means 100 less lost PCs posts than they originally thought they would need.
This reduction will be largely realised through the deletion of existing vacant posts, certainly in the case of PC vacancies. An additional £200,000 of savings will be realised through new ways of working in the Communications Centre.
Over the last seven months, Avon and Somerset Police has undertaken its most comprehensive review of the way they operate.
Today they presented the results of our review to officers and staff across the organisation and externally to partners and the public.
Chief Constable Nick Gargan said: “This is a big day for Avon and Somerset Police as we announce the outcome of a fundamental review of the way we work and the way we deliver policing.
“I am indebted to Chief Superintendent Sarah Crew and her team: I have never seen a review of this type with such a strong evidence base and which has been the subject of such effective and extensive engagement – particularly with the staff likely to be affected by it. At every stage the team have worked to create something that will be better for the public, simpler for our staff and value for the organisation.
“Not only have the team found a way for a shrinking police force to maintain its standards, but they have also improved existing plans to absorb cuts that lie ahead – reducing previously anticipated PC reductions of 161 to just 61. And a much greater proportion of that smaller workforce will be on the frontline, with every neighbourhood policing post protected.
“It’s a time of rapid but unavoidable change. With the support of our staff, partner agencies and community, we will transform the organisation for the future and mitigate the impact of successive budget reduction.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I am very supportive of the Constabulary’s approach. In reviewing the way they operate they are putting local people first and ensuring policing is responsive to demand. The programme will deliver savings which are required over the next two years although this was not the primary motivating factor for developing the Operating Model.
“I will be closely scrutinising the model and asking the questions that local people will want answered. I will be listening to local people throughout the progress of the Operating Model to make sure it meets local peoples’ expectations.”
Some of the changes are internal, based on how they organise themselves, Avon and Somerset Police say the public will see some visible benefits as a result of the Operating Model.
Avon and Somerset Police say the case for change was compelling. The result is a new Operating Model, based on strong evidence, which improves our service to the public and organises our people so they’re in the right place at the right time and operating in the most efficient way to keep our communities safe.