The above video is a short message from our Deputy Chief Constable, Dave Thompson, all about how the force aims to close the funding gap that we’re facing over the next four years of £126 million.
This works out as an equivalent to around a 20% reduction in our budget or to put it into terms that people (me) can more easily understand, the amount that we’re required to save could buy around 210 million Creme Eggs*.
Clearly doing so is no easy task but this said, the savings are to be found over a gradual four year period and will hopefully come from changing the way our backroom operations work to make the service more efficient.
Efficiency is certainly the current buzzword and it’s because of this that the thrillingly-named ‘Priority Based Budgeting’ strategy will be so important. Basically it means reassessing how we’re set up to deliver policing and identifying how we could improve to both cut waste and cut cost.
As DCC Thompson stresses, we’re not looking to alter how the front line services are delivered in any noticeable way so you shouldn’t worry about your neighbourhood beat surgery closing down or your favourite, most handsome and dashing Walsall A Unit response officer disappearing from the mean streets.
Times are tough and the decisions that need to be made even tougher – the first consideration though is the public. We put them first and when it comes to our finances, that’s the bottom line.
* This calculation is based on the assumption that the Creme Eggs are purchased at the extortionate 2011 rate of around 60p each. Obviously I’d expect any decent wholesaler to offer a bulk buying discount.