The new National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has defended making job cuts, including some HR posts, in a bid to drive up efficiency within the service.
The NPIA, which officially started work last week, confirmed that 500 jobs had been scrapped through measures including recruitment freezes, voluntary redundancies and awarding fixed-term contracts rather than permanent ones.
The agency replaces the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) and the training and leadership body Centrex. It will run national information systems such as the Police National Computer, DNA database, and training courses for officers.
An NPIA spokesman said the job cuts had been achieved “over time and through careful management”. He told Personnel Today: “A small number of corporate services staff also took voluntary redundancy in areas of duplication between PITO and Centrex.”
The agency has an annual budget of £700m, but aims to save £30m in its first year. It is currently consulting with police officers and staff to establish how well its services – such as its training courses – are working, and whether they deliver value for money.
Angela O’Connor, NPIA chief people officer, said: “We will see if services are fit for purpose in terms of what policing offers now, delivering value for money, and we will monitor the spending of every pound. If we don’t see something delivering, then we will cut it.”
But Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation, which represents officers, said: “To cut the department before it has even started will mean removing the capacity to do the job the NPIA has been set up to do.”