Mr Ball said: “We ask police officers to make a large commitment to serving the public, often in very challenging circumstances dealing with difficult and sometimes dangerous individuals. This places a large burden on their family life and, in return for that commitment, I believe we owe it them to ensure that we recognise that their role is not like any other job. Sadly, some of the language being used in discussions around compulsory redundancy fails to take account of this unique difference.
“While it is true that forces are facing the challenge of maintaining levels of service within increasingly smaller budgets, I do not believe that having new powers to make wholesale redundancies among police officers is the answer. A more flexible system of workforce modernisation is needed, which equips warranted officers with the right mix of skills to tackle the changing nature of crime today. This would need to ensure that officers can focus their efforts on protecting people from harm, supported by specialist civilian police staff in delivering an effective service to the public.
“When I was elected I made the commitment that the numbers of police officers and PCSOs would be maintained at existing levels during the term of my office. This is something that I am proud we have been able to achieve, despite the need to make considerable savings. While no future commissioner is likely to be able to give that same commitment, the suggestion that budget cuts are somehow linked with a need for powers over compulsory severance is, in my view, unhelpful and sends out the wrong message to officers and the public.”