THE COUNTY’S police chiefs have promised that slashing 200 job roles will not impact on safety.

But it came as Police Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld warned Thames Valley Police could not take anymore cuts.

Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Sara Thornton revealed in a meeting yesterday that 187 police officer posts and 16 police staff posts will be cut next April.

Officers will not be made redundant, but instead will be moved to different areas of the force, although some support staff may lose their jobs.

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Ms Thornton told PCC Mr Stansfeld that moving officers into other areas of the force would help save £45m over the next three years.

The force has already identified £24m and needs to work out how to save another £21m.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Ms Thornton said the job cuts would have no impact on frontline policing: “There will be absolutely no impact on public safety. Our absolute priority is the safety of the public. Every saving we’re making I assess the risk. I don’t want to take any risk.

“In the last three years crime has come down significantly and we hope that will continue to be the case.”

Out of the 187 officer posts, 94 of them will come from officers who currently train new recruits in the law, saving £2.8m.

This means new recruits will need to be trained elsewhere to get a certificate of knowledge before they join the force. Some 53 management positions covered by police officers are to be moved to instead be done by support staff.

Ms Thornton said: “We went through all of the posts which are non-operational and non-front-line and we have identified those posts where we are not going to have fully-trained police officers and instead going to have police staff. That saves a huge amount on salary and pensions.”

She added officers will not be made redundant and “every effort” will be made to relocate support staff, rather than making redundancies.

But in the face of these cuts, Mr Stansfield also warned that any more will impact public safety. He said: “We do not have as yet a plan on how we are going to cope with the further cuts in funding.

“We’ve about reached the limit. There will be a considerable reduction of police in three years’ time at the current level of cuts.”

Mr Stansfeld added that while the budget for 2015/16 is balanced, beyond 2016 is uncertain. He said: “We can get through this first year, but the next two years will be extremely difficult.

“Inevitably the more police officers you have the higher the level of safety. We have a low level of police officers in Thames Valley already and I am concerned that the level will become too low.

“The Government needs to stop taking away money for us and look at the priorities for the country.”

During the meeting at TVP South HQ in Kidlington, Mr Stansfeld approved up to £3.8m in spending on technology improvements – such as new equipment, data processing software and improved wifi – in a bid to make remaining staff more efficient.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: “I’m certain the public don’t want police cuts affecting front-line policing.

“It is alarming, but honest, of the Commissioner to warn of the danger to public safety of further cuts.”

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