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Policing on the frontline; Letters.

WITH reference to the PS6.3m police spends article on 16/01/16, I'd like to put a few points straight.

It is certainly not the case that Warwickshire Police has been excessive in its spending on temporary staff in some sort of bid to boost back office functions at the expense of frontline policing.

In fact, the overall numbers of police staff employed (either through permanent or temporary contracts) has reduced since 2012 but at the same time, the proportion of the workforce dealing with frontline policing has increased. It is not just me saying this - according to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, 80 per cent of officers and staff are now on the frontline in Warwickshire, compared to the national average of 78 per cent. Many of the temporary or agency staff who have been taken on are directly serving in frontline roles, for example staff supporting Operation Devonport to tackle cross-border criminality, acquisitive crime and child sexual exploitation. Others who have been taken on as call handlers in our operations and communication centres. We have also employed people on temporary contracts to assist with child protection, domestic abuse and witness care.

The figures for temporary staff recruitment also need to be viewed in the context of the considerable underspend on costs for staff in permanent positions. For example, in 2013/14 there was a PS4 million underspend and in 2014/15 there was a PS6.6 million underspend across the alliance. The use of temporary roles has provided the force with the flexibility to ensure that frontline services can continue to be delivered to the public at a high quality, despite this period of internal change. This was a positive strategy to help protect the jobs of permanent staff wherever possible, while the force sought to make reductions to its overall staff numbers.

I also question the inference that there is no value in back office staff - this is simply not true. Frontline policing simply couldn't exist without strong back office support.

Ron Ball, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jan 28, 2016
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