May the Force be with you, but with different priorities

Inspector Paul Truscott
Inspector Paul Truscott

A police inspector has said that Northumbria Police Force is facing a ‘world of change’, as financial pressures take hold.

Speaking at Amble Town Council on Thursday, Inspector Paul Truscott, part of the local policing team for Alnwick, said the Force is awaiting the results of a comprehensive spending review and has seen substantial budget cuts since 2010.

He said: “We are on the cusp of a fundamental change of how the police service will be delivered.

“Some of it will mean that our priorities will have to change and we are going to be in a position where we have to ask ourselves what we do, how we do it and should we be doing it.

“You might find that crimes will be recorded over the telephone rather than an officer knocking on the door and taking details off you.

“It is all part of a massive programme of change that the Force is looking at.

“We are trying to maximise the resources we have got to maximise service delivery.

“We will be refocusing what is important.

“Protecting the vulnerable is a key priority for Northumbria Police and the most important crimes are the ones that impact on people personally – ie violence against the person, burglary and protecting victims of domestic violence.

“We will be looking differently at isolated individual crimes, such as burglaries to people’s sheds.”

Reflecting on the local picture, he added: “One of the biggest impacts for me is that we take prisoners to Middle Engine Lane in Wallsend.

“It means that you have got to have two officers go down there, which takes people out of the local area.

“But we can open Bedlington on special occasions, like Black-eye Friday for example.”