LANCASHIRE Police is facing its biggest internal shake up for 17 years after it emerged the force needs to save £20m more than first thought.
A leaked message from Chief Constable Steve Finnegan about the future of the Constabulary sent out to staff last week revealed one of its three assistant Chief Constable posts will be lost, along with four Chief Superintendent roles.
The force will merge the management structure of its six policing divisions to three by April next year.
The Chief Con has stressed the changes are internal and only involve the management teams heading each division, meaning there will be no cuts to frontline officers in these areas and that for the public, things will remain much the same.
Central Division, which covers Preston, Lea, Fulwood, and Grimsargh, will be merged with Southern, which Leyland, Bamber Bridge, Chorley, Ormskirk, Penwortham, and Skelmersdale areas.
Western Division, covering Blackpool and the Fylde, will be merged with Northern which covers Lancaster and Wyre.
Eastern Division, overing Blackburn, Accrington, Clitheroe, Darwen, Great Harwood and Longridge, will merge with Pennine Division to include Burnley, Colne, Rawtenstall, Padiham, Haslingden, Nelson, and Barnoldswick.
The constabulary’s G Division, which includes specialist units like the Force Major Investigation Team and the Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), will undergo a review, whilst H Divison - the mounted branch, dogs, and firearms - will have it’s resources returned to local divisions.
Chief Con Finnegan said: “Changing our senior management structure in this way means that we can recognise significant savings without impacting on frontline policing or the services we provide to the public.
“As I have said many times, we will do all that we can to protect the frontline during these difficult and challenging financial times and this option allows us to do that.”
He said the situation had “pushed us to a solution which will see us deconstruct, in part, the model and structures that have served us and the public well for more than a decade.”
In the e-mail Mr Finnegan told staff: “ I outlined the details of the financial challenge we are facing over the coming years which you’ll recall increases our initial ask of £43m to £60m and extends the time period by a further two years. In a nutshell, we still have around £20m to find by 2016 / 17.
“We as Chief Officers have been working closely with the SE Team to consider how we might achieve this difficult target and it has become clear to us that there is no alternative left other than to be more radical in our thinking and even more transformational than we have been to date. We have done ‘well’, if I can use that term, to so far identify £40m without breaking the business. I fully accept that there has been plenty of change, anxiety and real impact on people in reaching that £40m but I think we can all agree that the Constabulary remains recognisable.
“However, an additional £20m – with around £10.5m to be taken out before April 1, 2014 – is a different proposition and one which has pushed us to a solution which will see us deconstruct, in part, the model and structures that have served us and the public well for more than a decade.
“As you will know, this poses a huge challenge to us as an organisation, particularly given the timescales we need to work to, and will represent change on the scale we haven’t experienced in Lancashire since 1996.
“But you would expect me to also say that it presents us with some opportunities as well, not least of all because by making this decision now, we can design and build this new model – using all of the expertise available to us – in time to realise the savings we need and therefore aren’t having something pushed onto us that we have little control over.
He added he is keen to make sure that the welfare of the workforce was “paramount” and will work closely with staff associations.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Preston
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: North west