Some police to be saved from the axe

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POLICE are to consider using some of the force’s cash savings to ‘defer’ the loss of 20 police officers and five PCSOs for at least another year.

As part of a four-year financial plan, which includes proposals to save £12.7 million by 2016, Northamptonshire Police bosses this week agreed a budget which included plans to slash 100 police officers and 25 PCSOs over the next four years.

More than 330 police staff jobs are also facing the axe.

However after prolonged discussions the force has now revealed it could postpone some of the cuts until next year, when the new crime commissioner will have been appointed.

The announcement comes as both Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council prepare to cut funding for 19 PCSOs next year.

It also comes as the force looks set to record a larger than anticipated £3 million underspend this year.

Deirdre Newham, chairman of the police authority, said: “I am very pleased to announce that additional savings have been made by the force this year, which will enable us to consider deferring the reduction of five PCSO posts and 20 police constable posts by 12 months.

“These are not roles to which local authorities have contributed, but ones which we had previously announced would have had to be reduced this coming year in order to balance an ever-decreasing budget.”

However, the force has again said it will not pick up the bill for PCSOs funded by councils.

Mrs Newham added: “The authority has a long history of working with local authorities across the county to make our communities safer and we remain committed to doing so.

“We know Northamptonshire County Council may no longer be able to finance the additional PCSO roles that they have done for a number of years and, regretfully, the authority would simply not be in a position to increase its budget to take on this additional number.”

Police Authority members have also agreed to freeze police council tax for the coming year.

And Northamptonshire County Council and the police authority have agreed to spend exactly £300,001 to help fund a police programme to fight violent crime.