Police agree funding for its services

PLANS have been agreed for how police services will be funded over the next three years.

Northumbria Police Authority members agreed the plans, which are outlined in the Medium Term Financial Strategy, to maximise the resources available so that front line policing services are protected.

The strategy also outlines how resources will be spent on essential capital projects, like the new Newcastle City Police Station.

Northumbria Police Authority is facing unprecedented funding cuts and, over the next three years, budget savings in excess of £57m need to be made.

Northumbria Police Authority chair Coun Mick Henry said: “These are difficult financial times and the savings that need to be made are substantial.

“Our priority is to maintain front line policing and we are working with the Chief Constable to ensure we can continue to provide police services local people want.

“The Medium Term Financial Strategy outlines how we intend to meet the challenges over the next three years.

“We have been planning for change and we have already begun to look at a package of measures to help us balance the budget.

“Business reviews have been carried out so we can challenge costs and ensure services are leaner and sustainable. Police staff have also been offered the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy.

“However, because of the funding cuts and spending pressures we will need to change the way we deliver policing in Northumbria.

“Options like collaboration and shared services will continue to be explored so we can create a police force that is fit for the new financial future we face,” he said.

The budget, which sets out the specific spending plans for 2011/12, will be discussed by Northumbria Police Authority in February.