PLANS to change police shifts have been delayed for further talks.

Proposals to review Lancashire Constabulary’s officers’ rotas were put forward last month in a bid to increase frontline cover without affecting the force’s budget.

The suggestions were met with anger by some of the 1,400 ‘response’ officers and the force has now agreed to push back the deadline to October 1, 2010.

Lancashire Police Federation chairman John O’Reilly said: “The proposed changes have been delayed by six months with a view to more consultation and more in-depth study.

“It’s difficult. We understand the budget is getting tighter and we just cannot do what we want to do and have to make changes.

“Our job as a federation is to negotiate on behalf of the officers.

"Morale is low, people are upset, many have never worked anything other than their current shift pattern.

"These changes will mean 43 fewer days off. We are hoping to negotiate on that. We acknowledge there is a need for change, but there’s got to be a work/life balance.”

The force, which has just been voted the joint best performing in the country, wants officers to work eight-hour shifts for seven days in a row, broken up with two and three-day rest periods.

Chief Supt Andy Rhodes, who is heading up the review of shift patterns, said: “As part of our ongoing review into the response officer shift rota, a decision has been taken to postpone the adoption of the new eight-hour rota until October 2010, with a final decision taken in January 2011.”