An open letter from the PCC to the people of Merseyside:
It is with great disappointment that I am writing to let you know that Merseyside Police are being forced to consider cutting PCSO jobs, disband the mounted section and the basic command unit structure which has served Merseyside well for forty years.
I am writing to reassure you that neither the Chief Constable nor I would consider these drastic measures unless we had nowhere else to turn. It is with extremely heavy hearts that we are even considering these changes.
The Government requires Merseyside Police to make £48 million of cuts by the end of the financial year 2018/2019. This comes on top of the £77 million already cut since 2010. However, we are anticipating that this situation will get even worse when the Government announces its Comprehensive Spending Review in November. The Government’s policy of austerity has already caused cuts to every area of the police service, requiring more and more to be done by fewer and fewer people. It is no longer possible to avoid fundamentally changing the way the police service is delivered at the frontline.
The cuts now being considered are harmful to the wellbeing of the communities of Merseyside. But even if all PCSO posts were cut during 2016, the mounted section disbanded and the basic command structure dissolved we would still have to cut a further £28 million by 2018/19.
This means that every team within Merseyside Police is facing cuts. This includes the teams of officers and staff who investigate sex offences, hate crimes and the Matrix teams who combat serious and organised crime.
Having spent my entire career working to build stronger and safer communities I am personally appalled that I am in a position where I am forced to make such cruel and damaging decisions, which will inevitably have serious repercussions for the people of Merseyside.
In spite of this incredibly depressing picture I can assure you that both the Chief Constable and I will do everything in our power to deliver the best possible police service we can with the resources we have available.
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