MEMBERS of Cheshire Police Authority have learned that, despite making £13m savings from the budget, police performance has not suffered as a result.

Police officers and staff in Cheshire have stepped up to the mark and, even though there have been changes in working practices and cuts to budgets, crime has dropped dramatically.

During the last 12 months there have been 1,600 fewer victims of crime including 800 fewer victims of burglary and 600 fewer victims of violence.

In total the number of crimes recorded in Cheshire fell by nearly 3,500 compared to the previous year.

This is at the same time as achieving more than £13m in savings, a significant challenge set by the coalition Government in its spending review of public services.

The Authority’s finance committee learned savings had been made through changing ways of working so people’s problems are solved much earlier by getting to the root cause and dealing with issues as they happen.

The fact crime has fallen in itself has added to the savings as a result of reduced forensic, pathologist and witness care costs.

Organisational changes such as reduced recruitment, better contract negotiation and non-replacement of leavers and retirees has also bolstered the savings figure.