900 jobs to go in police cuts

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The Independent Online

Almost 900 more staff are to lose their jobs in a second phase of cost cutting at one of the country's biggest police forces.

Staff at Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were today attending meetings at Bolton Wanderers' Reebok Arena to find out how the job cuts will affect their own position.

The force must make £134 million in savings over the next four years following cuts to its budget.

The authority is expected to lose around a quarter of its 12,000 staff by the time the cuts have gone through.

In total, 616 police staff and 270 officer posts will be cut from GMP as part of the second phase of the review.

More than £30m has already been saved from departments at GMP's headquarters that were looked at in phase one of the review. Around £33m is expected to be saved through the proposals announced today for phase two.

Departments of the force facing cuts in the second phase include the Forensic Services Branch, Force Intelligence, communications, specialist operations and the serious crime division.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy from Greater Manchester Police said: "Today we are informing our employees of the outcomes of the second phase of a review to reduce staff costs within GMP.

"We will be explaining to staff the position we are in and what impact this will have on their departments that provide operational support functions across the Force.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for the Force and most importantly for the individuals concerned. However, we need to make £134m savings in the next four years and as such, some challenging decisions need to be made.

"Tomorrow, the staff affected will receive details about what exactly this means for their individual role.

"There are no easy decisions but protecting frontline policing is at the heart of the plans that are being developed."

Paul Murphy, chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Authority, said: "It's the job of the Authority to make sure the Force is in the best possible position to deliver the promises that have been made to the public in the context of reducing resources.

"The second phase of our budget review process is now under way and as with the first phase, we are working closely with GMP to reduce the impact of budget cuts on frontline services and provide support to those staff affected."