Police in staff cuts

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GOVERNMENT cuts could see up to 500 fewer police officers on North East streets in the coming years.

Northumbria Police has imposed a recruitment freeze and will not be allowed to take on any more staff until numbers are down by about 12 per cent.

About 450 of the force’s civilian staff are also expected to lose their jobs – but it is hoped that these will be agreed on a voluntary basis.

Temporary Chief Constable Sue Sim yesterday admitted the news was disappointing, but insisted the force will continue to deliver an “excellent service”.

She said: “There is no doubt that the settlement is a disappointing one that poses significant challenges for us all.”

The Government has secured funding for the force to continue to receive support for 432 Community Support Officers, employed by the Home Office.