Jobs under threat at police partner

AN ORGANISATION that provides key services to a police force is set to lose the equivalent of 30 full-time posts.

Steria signed a 10-year contract to work with Cleveland Police Authority (CPA) in June 2010, guaranteeing at the time that there would be no compulsory redundancies for its duration.

But the civil company is now serving notice that jobs are “at risk” as not enough services have been outsourced to the firm to provide roles for the 500 staff transferred from the force.

The excess staff are said to be costing the police authority £1m a year and bosses have told Steria that they can no longer afford those payments.

A joint statement from the force and the firm said: “We do not underestimate the impact that this decision will have on those affected, some of whom have worked within the police family for many years. This decision is not a reflection of their work or the contribution they have made to the success of Cleveland Police.

“It is a responsible and appropriate solution to the financial situation which now faces the whole public sector including Cleveland Police and Cleveland Police Authority. Discussions and formal consultation with both the staff affected and union representatives are currently taking place.”

The Steria deal is worth £175m and sees the firm provide information technology, finance, control room and support services to Cleveland Police.

When it began, it was projected to save the CPA around £50m over £10 years.

The joint statement added: “It should be stressed that the partnership between the CPA and Steria has been hugely positive in protecting the position of several hundred staff. This is in sharp contrast to the very significant job losses which have taken place within many other forces and authorities.

“However, some services have not transferred across to Steria as we had originally intended and some proposed civilianisation of posts within Cleveland Police has been postponed.”

Steria has ran a programme of voluntary redundancy and early retirement but “there remain more staff than positions available within Steria” and the CPA is said to have been “shouldering the financial consequences”.