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Police on target for £50m savings
11:40am Sunday 15th July 2012 in News
Cash-strapped Sussex Police has said it will still be able to save £50 million by 2015, despite having to supply officers to a series of big budget events this year.
Sussex Police Authority has revealed that the force had a number of events which could affect its budget during the first quarter of the 2012/2013 financial year, including the Liberal Democrat conference, Olympic Torch Relay and the Olympics.
While the Liberal Democrat conference and the Olympic events were pre-planned – and were therefore allocated £300,000 in this year’s forward planning – the other events were not.
These include protests in Brighton and Hove such as the Smash EDO event over the Jubilee weekend.
A force spokesman said: “The cost of the Liberal Democrat conference and the Olympic events is foreseeable and was planned into this year’s budget.
“There have been more public events than expected and this has impacted on finances.”
He added: “During the first quarter of 2012/13 Sussex Police has faced a higher number of com- plex operational events to police.
“These have required a high use of police resources for public order operations and calls on other forces to provide support through mutual aid.
“This amount is well beyond the contingency held in the annual budget to cover major operations and other incidents “External funding will not be available as it was for the summer disturbances last year.”
“We expect 85% of the actual costs of Operation Otter, the Lib eral Democrat party conference in Brighton, to be funded by special grant.
“The budget approved in February allowed for funding of £0.3m from Operational Contingency Reserve for each of these operations.
“We are not losing cash.”