Police have warned of reduced cover across Aberdeen – with dozens of positions going unfilled and a crackdown on overtime.

Superintendent Neil McDonald said hard decisions are being made as part of efforts to “further refine” services and balance the books.

And he cautioned Aberdonians that there will be “an impact on what they can do” when it comes to fighting crime.

The Press & Journal says this might mean cutting back on patrols around the city, or taking longer for some 999 calls to get a response.

Council chiefs were told the rising cost of living – as well as other factors – have prompted an urgent need to “modernise” the service and prioritise issues.

Positions lost

A drop in recruitment and an increase in retirement has also led to the loss of 39 positions across police workforce in the north-east.

While Supt McDonald said their share of the budget was “better” this year, it is still not enough to sustain the same level of resources to guard the city as in previous years.

“We are building a service model that reflects that (reduced) level,” he added.

“Hard choices have been taken to further refine our service to prioritise and maintain operational policing as we respond to high inflation and the cost of living crisis."

Supt McDonald explained to the communities, housing and public protection committee that staff shortages have been previously covered with officers working “significant” overtime.

Tight finances

But now finances are so tight that this won’t be possible.

He warned: “Overtime costs must return to normal levels for us to remain within budget.”

But Supt McDonald also said “I can reassure everybody that, while we may have to look at doing things differently, we are absolutely committed to ensuring our frontline resources are supported and our community remains safe.”

Click here to read more on this Press & Journal story.

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