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East Lancs police to find £19m worth of cuts
MAJOR reforms to the way Lancashire Police operates have come into force.
But the constabulary has warned that it still has around £19million of cuts to make, although it has not been decided where the savings will be found.
A spokesman said it was necessary to let the current changes settle in before bosses could decide where the millions could be saved.
The cost saving changes were brought in yesterday, with one of the biggest differences being the merging of Eastern and Pennine divisions.
In total, the six territorial divisions that did exist have now become three.
Specialist roads policing, armed response and dog patrol officers are now back in divisions as part of the frontline immediate resp-onse function.
Public protection resour-ces are now centralised and new custody management procedures and shift patterns are now in place.
However, the changes do mean an increase in resources to tackle cybercrime, which includes online child sexual abuse.
Lancashire Police had already saved £40million from its budget up to 2012 by cutting backroom staff and neighbourhood and respo-nse officers, reducing the force’s major investigation teams from three to two and selling off property.
The newest cuts will save a further £20million, but there is around £19million to find.
A police spokesman said: “We are currently working up a programme that will consider where we can make further savings.”
Lancashire police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Although April 1 marked the formal implementation of the constabulary's new struct-ure, many of the changes had already taken place. I have voiced my disappointment to the Government about the level of cuts they have forced on Lancashire.”
Rachel Baines, from the Police Federation, said residents would not be able to expect the same level of service they had once been used to, adding: “It is a very difficult time.
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