Avon and Somerset police to undergo major reorganisation
7:01am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
A MAJOR restructuring is on the cards for Avon and Somerset Constabulary as the force attempts to increase its presence across the region despite looming budget cuts.
Police chiefs are planning to introduce a new operating model, which would see a greater proportion of officers in frontline roles and working more closely with the public.
Staff's shifts would be also altered to make them more easily available within their communities.
A consultation has been launched until October 26, asking residents for their views on the possible changes to the way the force is being run and suggestions as to what officers' priorities should be.
The new operating model will be approved on December 23.
Chief Constable Nick Gargan said the need for cutbacks meant a restructuring was unavoidable.
“The way the constabulary does its business has not been reviewed for some time," he said. "The fact that we will be taking delivery of several new buildings and critical new IT systems in 2014 – combined with the need to make yet further savings – meant that significant organisational change was inevitable.
“We have also been listening to the outcome of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s consultation with communities as well as to the voices of our own staff.
“Together they have told us that we can and should do much more to respond to the needs of victims and the communities of Avon and Somerset, and that we would be a better police force if we were more open and more transparent.”
As part of the plans, a new cultural change programme will bring all staff up to standards when it comes to victim support.
A total of 2088 force employees were interviewed and 1486 suggestion cards reviewed during an internal survey ahead of the launch of a public consultation.
As part of the survey the public is being asked whether they would agree to the constabulary hiring private firms to run custody services.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I am pleased that the constabulary is taking into account the views of local people as it re-shapes the service it provides to communities.
“The picture that is emerging about the current service reflects what many people have told me over the past year. It is really important to me that policing reflects local needs and I would encourage everyone to have their say on the consultation about what service the public should expect from the constabulary, before October 26.”
To fill in the online survey go on www.consultation.avonandsomerset.police.uk/police/custody-provision-and-service
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