Cumbria Police Force are planning to move Police Officers into call-handling roles while making staff redundant in the communications centre at Carleton Hall in Penrith.
Call-handling and Help Desk staff are a highly motivated and professional group of staff. They deal with very difficult and challenging issues when the public report serious incidents in their home or community. Now, as a cost-cutting measure, Cumbria Police Force are proposing to make these highly experienced staff redundant and replace them with Police Officers. Over 50 out of 132 posts are under threat.
Dave Armstrong, UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“These proposals are draconian and will remove front line Police Officers from the streets of Cumbria and also leave over 50 staff out of work. It is a ridiculous thing to do when the public want to see visible policing in our communities. When someone rings the Police it is usually in an emergency. They don’t want to talk to a Police Officer on the ‘phone they want a Police Officer to attend at the incident they are reporting. The sums do not add up in relation to cost savings and it is not providing the necessary support to the people of Cumbria who want to see a high Police presence on the ground.”
Stephanie Thomas, UNISON Regional Manager added:
“People join the Police Force to provide a high quality level of service to the public and to protect our communities. UNISON cannot understand why the Cumbria Police Force are determined to reduce the number of officers on the beat whilst making support staff redundant. The call-handling staff currently provide a high quality professional service, responding efficiently, promptly and knowledgably to a vast range of calls from the public. This change will worsen the service to the public on the ‘phone and reduce the visibility of the Police in the community.”