Panel chairman raises fears over Norfolk police cuts plan

The head of the body which scrutinises Norfolk’s police service has called for more detail about how a multi-million funding gap will be closed over the next four years.

Last week, the force announced plans to axe 350 jobs over the next four years as part of measures to help save more than £20 million between now and 2018.

And the proposals will be scrutinised at a meeting of the county’s police and crime panel, to be held at force headquarters in Wymondham this Friday, July 4.

Chief constable Simon Bailey will formally present his proposals before the panel questions the county’s deputy police and crime commissioner, Jenny McKibben, on the likely impact.

But panel chairman Alec Byrne said he was concerned about how a £5 million gap between savings currently identified and the amount the force has to reduce spending by would be closed.

The force has indicated that the current proposals are projected to save around £16 million over the next four years, though a review of police buildings has also been ordered.

He said: “All the members of the panel are acutely aware of the current financial pressures on the Norfolk Constabulary and we welcome the opportunity to question the Deputy Commissioner on behalf of local communities.”

The meeting will also consider the arrangements put in place after police commissioner Stephen Bett stood aside last month following the announcement of a new inquiry into his expenses claims.