Police reveal plans to meet budget

WARWICKSHIRE Police and Authority have today revealed innovative new plans to meet our toughest financial challenge and continue to protect communities from harm.

Following the Government’s recent Comprehensive Spending Review it is now clear the savings challenge has increased by a further £9.5m, from £13.4m to £22.9m over the next four years.

To date Warwickshire Police Authority has approved changes as part of an ongoing programme, which achieves £13.4m savings.

This will be through a new policing model designed to deliver the maximum protection possible to communities in Warwickshire, built upon the foundation of local policing.

The new policing model comprises three countywide policing teams, supported by a Resources Directorate, aimed at:

Safer Neighbourhood Teams - Tackling the problems and the people that cause you harm

Patrol Team - Patrolling locally and responding to incidents

Investigation Team - Investigating crimes

The role of the Resources Directorate is to ensure that our services deliver best value for our communities.

To ensure the effective delivery of this new policing model a review of the current force estate and all of its premises has taken place and been redesigned to ensure it is fit for purpose.

Chief Constable Keith Bristow said: “We need the right buildings, which are fit for purpose, in the right places.

“On December 17, the Authority met and agreed a new strategy for the use of the force estate to compliment the new policing model. The strategy has been developed following a comprehensive review of our current estate to ensure that it is affordable, acceptable and sustainable.

“Some of our current estate will not be fit for purpose to deliver our new policing model and some of our properties within our current estate are very costly to run and maintain. Ultimately, less buildings and buildings that are more efficient to operate and maintain will ensure more resources available to maximise protection.

“Our estate will be smaller and will release money to pay for our workforce and other resources that deliver protection. It is also true that the new policing model adopted by Warwickshire Police does not require as many buildings to deliver effective policing in the county.

“Future service delivery will be concentrated around a smaller number of core premises from which to deliver the new policing model and enable the provision of a high-level of police visibility across Warwickshire with a particular focus on those parts of the county most affected by harm.”

He commented: “A good example of this is our current headquarters based at Leek Wootton which is extremely costly to maintain being a large former country house. Warwickshire Police is widely recognised as a high performing and innovative force. Our headquarters does not support how we currently operate or how we will deliver policing in the future.

“We must ensure the needs of our community today are met and that means our buildings and workforce being visible and located as close to communities as possible.

“The agreed estate strategy includes a migration away from our Leek Wootton site. This move will be led by the Force Executive Team, who will move into the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington as soon as possible. We will share office space and, with our workforce, develop more effective ways of meeting and working. This will also mean being co-located in the building with our professional colleagues from other public services and partner agencies.

“Members of our workforce will be moving locations to ensure they are in the right place over the next few months, but we will remain focused on delivering daily protection from harm at all times.”

Vice Chair of Warwickshire Police Authority, Phil Robson, added: “It is vital to remember at this time that every pound saved on our estate means more money to protect people from harm.

“Less buildings equals more protection and the innovative new ways of working we will be delivering as part of our new policing model will mean less need for expensive buildings which are not fit for purpose.

“The decision to move to this new policing model and reduce the force’s estate is one the Authority has taken with careful consideration.

“Our current estate costs in excess of £4m to run on an annual basis. This includes large maintenance bills.

“Ultimately the fewer buildings we have and the more we reduce our estate the more resources we will have to protect communities.

“These tough decisions needed to be made quickly to ensure the force continues to deliver maximum protection possible.

”This new strategy will deliver significant savings both now and in the future as some of our current estate has large overheads in terms of maintenance and repair liabilities.

“But despite all these changes the public will actually see an increased presence on their streets and channels through which they will be able to meet and speak with a member of our workforce will be broadened.

“We are committed to spending public money to maximise resources to provide protection.”