Police staff set for fresh strike

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of police support officers and other civilian workers will stage another 24-hour strike tomorrow in a row over job cuts and restructuring.

Unison union members at the Nottinghamshire force took action on Tuesday, forcing police officers to be drafted in to cover for control room staff.

It was the first strike by civilian police staff in the current wave of union protests against public sector spending cuts, which has led to industrial action by thousands of council workers across the country.

Nottinghamshire Police said Tuesday's stoppage did not have a major impact after contingency plans were drawn up.

The union is in dispute over restructuring amid plans by the force to save more than £40 million in the next four years to "reshape" the county's police and "transform" the services it provides.

Unison said police forces up and down the country were making "massive" cutbacks, as a result of 20% budget cuts meted out by the Government, warning this will lead to the loss of 16,000 police staff and 1,800 police officers.

"There is no doubt that cuts on this scale will see our streets become less safe. We are calling on the Government to think again," said Unison leader Dave Prentis.

"Police staff are dedicated public service workers - they do not want to go on strike, but they have been left with little choice."

Roger Young, Unison's regional organiser said: "Nottinghamshire Police's goal to be the most dependable police force in England and Wales by 2015 appears to be a long way off. Unison wishes to support that objective, however the force could now take the first step towards this goal by listening to its staff and talking to Unison."

Mr Young urged the force to meet the union for talks at the conciliation service Acas.