The costs of providing pay and pensions for police officers is now expected to by almost Â£2.5m down on projected spending, with more officers retiring and leaving the force than had been forecast when the budget was set, accounting for Â£350,000 of the savings.
A range of changes account for the rest, including senior officers being transferred into regional policing posts and grant money being used towards paying a superintendent's salary in one instance. At present, the force is also paying less than expected in unsocial hours costs.
Savings of Â£100,000 have been made on the budget for PCSOs because a recruitment freeze has been introduced while a review of their work within the force is conducted and costs for police civilian staff are expected to be Â£2.1m down, because of vacancies and delays in recruiting.
However, overtime for police staff is Â£200,000 over target, with a report to Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings stating: 'This overspend is mainly within Atlas Communications where staff overtime is forecast to overspend.....as a result of 16 dispatch operators currently being off sick and backfill for addition abstractions for Smart Contact training.'
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Smart Contact is a new computer system for handling calls from the public at Atlas Court, which was due to go into service this Spring, but has been delayed through technical problems.