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Plan to chop police chiefs
THE RANK of Chief Inspector will be phased out by Wiltshire Police in a bid save £1 million, reduce bureaucracy and simplify the force’s complex hierarchy.
The move is part of a wider review into the force’s structure, which was launched to determine how best to enable staff to deliver a high-quality service while doing away with red-tape.
A total of 20 Chief Inspector posts will be cut over a period of between 12 and 18 months.
Other senior ranks could also be removed in future as Wiltshire Police strives to create “a flatter organisation” and slash costs by nearly £1 million in the face of much-needed budget cuts.
Wiltshire Police Chief Constable, Pat Geenty, said: “Our mission is to provide our communities with the best possible service and protect them from harm. To do this we need to be bold, innovative and courageous in the way we approach policing and that really needs to start with the way our organisation is structured.
“I want to create an empowered workforce where our staff feel capable and confident in making decisions that ultimately have the best interests of the public in mind. That means flattening our structure, reducing bureaucracy and closing the gap between what is happening on the frontline and what is being said at a leadership level.”
Wiltshire Police’s pledge to phase out the rank means no Chief Inspectors will be forced to retire.
“Clearly the removal of any rank structures, whether they are police officer or police staff, requires careful and considered management,” added Chief Constable Geenty.
“This is not something that we can achieve overnight nor would we want to.
“It will start with the removal of the Chief Inspector rank but we will be reviewing other senior police officer and staff ranks and roles too.
“The force has no immediate plans to use forced exit procedures for the officers involved and we will instead be relying on natural turnover over a longer period of time.”
Although supportive of the force’s attempt to reduce bureaucracy Wiltshire Police Federation warned the move would put more pressure on already-struggling officers.
Chairman Mike White said: “The removal of the Chief Inspector rank has been tried before, following the Sheehy report into policing in the mid 1990s. Those forces that tried it have all re-instated the rank. Hopefully we can learn the lessons from their experiences.”
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