THE structure of Bolton police is to change as part of a major shake-up to save money.
Twelve police posts will be lost when the changes come into effect in March next year — but Supt Phil Davies said that no officers will be lost because there are 18 vacancies at the moment.
He said: “We have 450 officers in Bolton. We can manage the change fairly well.”
The boundaries of four policing areas — Bolton central, east, west and south — will change to three, which will be called Bolton north, south and central.
The north team will be lead by Insp Wayne Readfern, who is currently in charge at Bolton East, while Insp Chris Evans, who is at Bolton West, will move to Bolton South, and Insp Andy Sidebotham will take over from Insp Paul Devall at the central team.
Supt Davies said PCSOs will remain largely on the same beats as before but may be working from different bases.
The number of neighbourhood officers will be reduced from 64 to 36, and their teams will be renamed “integrated neighbourhood policing teams” because they will be working alongside CID.
There will be an increase of 15 officers in the volume crime team, which deals with burglaries, robberies and vehicle crime, and eight more CID officers.
Supt Davies said: “This will strengthen investigations and help us sort out the root of the problems.
“We are all one team and this is about delivering a good service.”
Changes will be happening across Greater Manchester as the force has to save £134 million over four years.
Supt Davies added: “It is in the public interest, of course, because it is a change in the way we are doing things.
“There are ongoing financial constraints and, like every force, we have got to make savings.”
It is not yet known what will happen to police buildings, and Supt Davies said they were reviewing their estate, which is controlled by newly-elected police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd.
Mr Lloyd said: “At the moment I am not saying close any stations or open new ones. We need to look at the value for money of the police stations — are they in the right place and do they best serve the community?
“I am more concerned that the public can access the police.”