200 jobs ‘at risk’ through Norfolk police cost cut plans, says union

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Plans to merge Norfolk Police control room and support services with their Suffolk counterparts could cost up to 200 jobs, union leaders claim.

Police chiefs have insisted that no decisions have yet been taken on the proposals, which were unveiled last week, though Norfolk’s police commissioner says he supports the ideas in principal.

But Unison , who represent police staff, claims around 200 jobs will be lost in the county if the plan goes ahead.

Branch secretary Caren Reeves said: “Cuts to police funding are resulting in decisions being made on the basis of cost alone and this is no way to run a police service. ”

Plans have been drawn up to merge the Norfolk and Suffolk force control rooms at a single site at the Norfolk Police headquarters at Wymondham, while support services would be merged at a site in Suffolk.

Officials say the plans are necessary to help the forces save around £37 million in costs between now and 2018.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said yesterday: “No decisions have yet been made and it is too early to confirm how many people could be affected.

“We appreciate this is an unsettling time for staff and we will keep them informed and supported.”

But, in a message posted on his website, Norfolk police commissioner Stephen Bett said he supported the control room merger and backed the support staff merger in principal, but was not convinced about its location.

Further talks are expected to take place next month.