Published: February 9, 2011
Police in Burnham-On-Sea braced for cuts in cost reduction exercise

Police in Burnham-On-Sea are braced for job cuts after Avon and Somerset Constabulary announced it is shedding nearly 200 members of civilian staff and 40 police officers over four years.

In unveiling the £40m of cuts, Avon and Somerset Police Authority also said on Wednesday (February 9th) there would be a recruitment freeze and the force helicopter would be used less following a 20 per cent reduction in government funding.

Setting its 2011/12 budget, the force also said a call centre would close. Chief Constable Colin Port described it as a "dark day" for his force.

A total of 44 staff who provide administrative support for Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) are among those who are losing their jobs.

Mr Port said: "The decisions that have been taken today are not just about money. They are about people's lives, and I deeply regret the impact they will have and the good people we will lose as a result."

The police precept on council tax bills across the force area will remain frozen at £168.03 per household.

Dr Peter Heffer, Chairman of Avon and Somerset Police Authority, added in a statement: "We know through our consultation that people are prepared to pay more for policing, however they shouldn't have to."

"Today, we would have had to implement an excessive precept beyond what people wanted, if we were to counter the raw deal we receive."

He added: "There are challenging times ahead and tough choices will need to be made as we consider areas for further spending reductions over the next four years."

Avon and Somerset Constabulary employs 2,500 civilians and 3,200 officers.


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