Response from Cleveland Police and Sopra Steria – for local/national mainstream media and local communities.

In June 2010, the Cleveland Police Authority, now OPCC, entered into a ten year Strategic Partnership Agreement with Steria, now Sopra Steria, to provide outsourced enabling services including ICT, finance, the control room and other support services.

This contract ensured savings of over £70 million pounds for Cleveland Police and the public purse over a ten year period.

Since that time the policing landscape has changed dramatically.  Crime is more complex, the nature of demand on policing has altered and there is less money for policing. Cleveland Police has embarked on a programme to transform  the way policing services are delivered to local communities in order to protect them from risk and harm and to meet the reductions in funding.

Sopra Steria has agreed to support Cleveland Police to make the necessary changes to deliver savings to help the Force move forward. As a result of these changes, it is anticipated that Sopra Steria will need to reduce the workforce numbers by around 73 full time posts, with an additional 20 staff transferring back to Cleveland Police.

As a result Sopra Steria is required to serve notice that a number of jobs are at risk of redundancy. However it is anticipated that compulsory redundancies should be reduced by the re-opening of the voluntary redundancy scheme.

Working within a new performance framework Sopra Steria will continue with the effective delivery of policing services whilst providing savings that ensure Cleveland Police are able to deliver their core role of prevent, protect and intervene to protect communities from harm.

John Torrie, CXO UK, Sopra Steria said: “We do not underestimate the impact that these changes will have on those affected. It is important for us to recognise the changes that Cleveland Police are facing and work flexibly and in partnership with them to take account of these. We are committed to supporting the Force in continuously improving and transforming the way they work.”

Temporary Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “A great deal of work has already taken place to ensure we deliver the best possible service in line with our budget constraints. We approached Sopra Steria to work with us to deliver reductions in the annual contract cost so that we could achieve a balanced budget in years to come.

“The unfortunate consequence of this reduction means that there will be job losses and we understand how difficult this will be for local people and their families. I know that the team at Sopra Steria will do what they can to ensure that compulsory redundancies are kept to a minimum and will provide support to those affected.” 

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “Representatives for Cleveland Police have made recommendations to me for adjustments to the contract with Sopra Steria so that it is fit for purpose in today’s policing climate.

“I have agreed with the recommendations; however it is not a decision which I have taken lightly. When the contract was signed in 2010, there was more money and resources available for Cleveland Police. The 2013 Comprehensive Spending Review had a huge impact on the police service and the way that police forces operate. Cleveland Police has changed its structure and there has been a shift in the wants and needs of communities.

“We continue to operate in a challenging financial climate with increasing demand for policing services. As the work of the Force has changed over time, I appreciate that the requirements of the contract must change now that we are six years on. 

 “It is with a heavy heart that I have agreed to the recommendations and I understand the impact of the changes and the effects that they have on local people. I have been given assurances that support is being made available for those affected.”