It was announced last week that Norfolk Police will face radical reforms to its resource allocations, with an expected loss of up to 178 jobs. The changes come after a review of Norfolk’s policing model was launched in 2015 due to the “changing face of crime”, with an increase of over 300 percent in crimes requiring “complex investigations” since 2012. This includes an unprecedented rise in the reporting of sexual offences, child abuse, and cyber related crimes.
The force will be the first in the country to scrap all Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), leading to concerns from residents regarding the lack of police presence in their local areas. Chief Constable Simon Bailey stated this was because the cost of training a PCSO is only £1,800 short of a fully trained police officer.
In the event of the plans going ahead, Norfolk will also see seven stations closed, with another seven relocated. In addition to this there will be a loss of 28 jobs incurred from the closure of seven of Norfolk’s ten public enquiry offices. The estimated £2 million a year saved from these changes will be used to train 81 extra police officers and 31 extra members of staff for complex investigations. Bailey expressed that the constabulary has saved £30 million in the past five years but that the force needs to find another £10 million by 2020 to coordinate the changes. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk said residents of Norfolk will have a chance to raise concerns, saying:
“The next Police Accountability Forum meeting will take place on Tuesday 14 November 2017 at the South Norfolk Council Offices in Long Stratton.”