Policing minister hears Norfolk force has been cut to the bone and into the bone

PUBLISHED: 17:02 29 September 2017

Norfolk Police and Crime Commisssioner Lorne Green. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Police and Crime Commisssioner Lorne Green. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A government minister has been told police in Norfolk have been cut not only to the bone but into the bone.

Police minister Nick Hurd. Picture: SUFFOLK PCCPolice minister Nick Hurd. Picture: SUFFOLK PCC

That stark message was delivered to police minister Nick Hurd by Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green who had pledged to raise concerns about where the money to pay for the bomus for police officers would come from.

Norfolk Constabulary having already saved £30m - £16m of which has been achieved by sharing services with Suffolk - needs to save a further £9m by 2020.

But the recent announcement by the government, that police officers will receive a 1pc one-off bonus on top of their basic pay rise of 1pc, has heaped even more financial pressure on the force.

Norfolk had budgeted for the 1pc increase but not the bonus which creates a £620,000 black hole and prompted a warning from chief constable Simon Bailey that police numbers would have to be cut so officers can be paid more.

Mr Green said: “I wanted to make representations to the minister in the Westminster government about the impact, cumulatively, of cuts to budget in recent years and the impact its having on policing in the county of Norfolk.”

The PCC, who attended the meeting with Mr Bailey, said the force had not just been “cut to the bone but into the bone”.

He said: “We don’t want to have to cut officers at a time demand has increased so much that’s the terrible dilemma we have at the moment.”

Mr Green said the minister listened to his concerns and would take them back to Westminster ahead of the police funding settlement later this year.

The meeting on Wednesday came as came as the Norfolk Police Federation sent an open letter to the government demanding answers about the truth of the pay award for police officers which had put forces in an “impossible situation”.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The recent pay award strikes a fair balance for police forces, officers and taxpayers. We believe it is affordable within the current police funding settlement. The independent pay review body and the police’s independent inspectorate have both highlighted the potential for policing to find further efficiencies.”

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