Jobs could be lost as force looks to save £28m

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Hundreds of jobs could be lost at Leicestershire Police as the force faces having to make up to £28m of savings.

Leicestershire Police unveiled its five-year programme called Blueprint 2020, which calls for significant savings.

The Government has indicated that public sector organisations need to expect cuts of between 25 per cent and 40 per cent. For Leicestershire Police, this means further savings of between £17m and £28m.

The exact figure will not be known until the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on November 25, but the force has already had to make savings of £36.1m between 2010 and 2015.

Leicestershire Police has already shed 180 officers and 190 civilian staff since 2010, with most of the job losses achieved through natural wastage, including retirement.

But Blueprint 2020 reveals that 83 per cent of the force’s budget is spent on salaries and that the force will “inevitably need to operate with fewer officers and staff”.

Deputy chief constable Roger Bannister said: “As with any significant transformational programme there will inevitably be some difficult decisions to be made, but change is not necessarily bad. This is also about doing things differently and improving the way we do things to offer a different service that is still responsive to the needs of local communities.”

He added that crime was 26 per cent lower than it was five years ago and the force is committed to giving a good service but on a smaller budget.

Among the changes suggested is closing police buildings that are too big and expensive to run and operating in smaller buildings - similar to what has already happened in 

The force is also looking to develop its “online presence to increase the ways” people can contact the police.

Mr Bannister added: “We have to operate in a modern way and be accessible in a way that people expect today.”