Police cash helps fund job cuts

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CASH intended for new police stations will instead be used to cover an £11million redundancy bill forced on Northumbria Police.

The force has had to raid a bank account used to fund over-budget projects in order to cover the cost of making 450 civilian staff redundant.

The bill rises as voluntary police redundancy costs are eventually added, paid for out of a different pot.

Major building projects, including a police station and a new firearms training centre, come from a ring-fenced fund, but the force uses reserves when capital costs go over budget. These reserves will now be raided for redundancy payments.

Last year, Chief Constable Sue Sim was handed a £57million Government grant cut which will see at least 1,100 posts go, including 92 officers, in the current year.

But Mick Henry, chair of the police authority, last night insisted frontline policing would be protected.

He said: “The current Government cuts are unprecedented in speed and scale. Such a sudden and massive reduction in funding has to have an impact somewhere.

“A decision was made that the circumstances warranted the use of reserves, which are put aside to be used in times of need. No amount of enforced cuts can dent our resolve to ensure the Northumbria Police area should remain one of the safest in Britain.”