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Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Jon Murphy and Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy have agreed a number of strategic intentions to reinforce Merseyside Police’s position to fight crime and protect communities for 2013/14.   Chief Constable, Jon Murphy has announced his ambition to preserve the level of serving police officers at 4000 in order to focus on serious and organised crime and maintain the force’s commitment to neighbourhood policing as outlined in the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy’s Police and Crime Plan 2013/14.

He said: “I am proud to say that even in the face of unprecedented funding restrictions Merseyside Police continues to respond with courage, courtesy and professionalism, building upon strong community confidence and reducing crime levels – but we cannot afford to rest on our laurels.

“In order to face the future with confidence while delivering an excellent policing service to the people of Merseyside, I am committed to achieving and maintaining an operational capacity of 4000 officers. This is combined with our dedication to retain as many of our experienced and skilled support staff as possible, ensuring that we have the right people in the right roles.

“We are on target to achieve the savings required by April 2014, but further Government cuts have yet to be announced. We therefore cannot afford to be complacent, and will continue to make changes to our back office functions to ensure that officers can be returned to front line policing roles. We will continue to act with openness, honesty and integrity and strive to find the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver policing in Merseyside.

“Throughout the process of identifying savings we have done everything in our power to protect front line policing and remain committed to proving an excellent policing service to the communities of Merseyside.”

Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy added:  “Since taking up the post of Police and Crime Commissioner, I have been focused on ensuring that Merseyside Police has the resources it needs to tackle crime and keep Merseyside safe.

“This has not been an easy task, particularly in the face of massive budget cuts imposed by the coalition government, but I have been working closely with the Chief Constable to identify priorities in order to make sure that the force can continue to respond to the needs of the public in a resilient and effective way.

“My Police and Crime Plan sets out a number of priorities that the public and partners have told me matter to them. This includes a focus on serious and organised crime and neighbourhood policing. By committing to bringing officer levels to 4000 and maintaining this number moving forward, myself and the Chief Constable are taking steps to ensure Merseyside Police can actually deliver on these priorities and provide the best service possible.”

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