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A CASH-STRAPPED police force have spent GBP3.8 million in the last year – on advice about how to save money.
Ironically West Midlands Police spent the staggering amount on consultants as it sheds hundreds of jobs in a bid to save a total of GBP125 million.
Experts were brought in to advise on major shake-ups of the force which is merging policing divisions and says they are putting a greater emphasis on putting bobbies on the beat.
West Midlands Police has defended the use of consultants at the force, which is shedding more than 2,000 jobs.
Spokesman Lee Page said today the need to save GBP125 million over four years had triggered an “urgent review of the way we do business to streamline our work and identify challenging cost savings”.
He said: “One of the ways of doing this is to adopt an ‘invest to save’ methodology. Using this approach we believe we can bring about substantial annual savings in policing costs.
“The consultants we are using are specialists and have a proven track record of working with other forces and achieving significant cost savings.”
It also emerged the number of officers in the force has fallen over the last year by 450, meaning there were just 8,032 as of April 1.
However retired police-officer Ray Egan, from Birmingham, lashed out at the revalations and branded his former employers as being ‘lead by donkeys’.
“I just can’t fathom their logic on this one. When I was in the force it was lead by men, now it just seems they are being lead by donkeys these days.
“The senior officers there don’t seem to have a clue and with all the cuts they have to meet, you shouldn’t be splashing out this much on consultants when 2,000 have been left unemployed.”
Emma Boon, from the Taxpayers Alliance, today/yesterday (WED) also criticised the force’s logic on their spending.
“This spending will raise questions about whether West Midlands police are taking seriously the need to cut their spending.
“Sometimes there needs to be a small initial outlay made in order to make bigger savings further down the road – but that is not be an excuse to spend millions on consultants.
“Anyone who is being paid to save money should only be rewarded for the real, cashable savings that they make, not offered huge fees upfront. It is possible to make some efficiency savings without the need to for consultants at all.”