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Police deny St Austell station staff job losses

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 21, 2014

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DEVON and Cornwall Police have quashed rumours front counter staff at St Austell police station have been handed their notice.

A representative from the force said a review regarding various civilian jobs is under way and staff are currently involved in a consultation process. She categorically confirmed no members of the front counter staff across the force have been given notice at this stage.

Deputy Chief Constable, Bill Skelly, said the review, announced in December, was set up to look at ways of cutting costs.

"In order to achieve our medium-term financial strategy we must make further savings from our budget for the years 2014-2018. Since roughly 80 per cent of our overall budget spend is on people, it is inevitable there will be a reduction in police support staff posts," he said.

He added: "I, along with the other members of the chief officer group, fully recognise that this will be an unsettling and anxious time for affected staff. We would rather not have to make these sort of difficult decisions, but we must ensure we deliver the very best police service within the budgets we are given."

Superintendent Phil Kennedy is responsible for local policing and partnerships. He said police inquiry offices have been selected for review.

"I fully appreciate that for the police inquiry offices this will be an unsettling time, particularly since there was a full review of station inquiry offices in 2010," he said.

He added: "Affected staff will be kept fully informed during the process and there will be a consultation period on completion of the review before any post reductions take place."

He said it was expected that some front counters would close.

The review is expected to be completed at the end of the financial year in 2016.

Sector inspector for St Austell Tony Joslin said it was an anxious time for those affected. He warned if front counter staff were lost police officers would have to fill the backlog of work. "This is all well and good but we have already cut as far as we reasonably can," Mr Joslin said.

He added: "I will try to continue to motivate my staff and I know they will meet the challenge."

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