December 13 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
Cambridgeshire’s new deputy chief constable has spoken of his determination to keep officers on the frontline as his force tries to make £25m more cuts in the next five years.
Alec Wood said there would be “difficult messages to give people” about the force’s financial situation.
But he added: “I can promise people of my absolute determination, which I share with the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner, to prioritise the preservation of a frontline service in Cambridgeshire.”
The 48-year-old, who has taken over as deputy to chief constable Simon Parr, said Cambridgeshire faced having to cut a further £25m from its budget by the end of 2017/18.
“The potential could be more than that,” he said. “We have a responsibility to keep the community as safe as we can. We can only do that if we preserve the front line of the organisation.”
Although he said he couldn’t “absolutely 100pc guarantee” there would not be officer reductions, he said the constabulary’s strategy was to “remove bureaucracy to free up officer time” and “increase operational hours”.
Central to that strategy, he said, was the greater use of IT and technology to ensure officers spent less time doing paperwork in the office and more time out on the beat.
“The ability to have their office on IT is what a lot of people in business have these days,” he said. “They have got everything available to do their role on some sort of electrical device. If everything is done in a paperless way, it is preventing the need for that officer to go back to the police station to write up reports.”
All officers in the force will be issued with gadgets boasting the latest Windows 8 technology from late 2014. The move would reduce the need for officers to carry notebooks and other equipment and would mean they could look up details of suspects on the force’s computer system without having to send a radio message to the control room.