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500 job losses planned for Hampshire Constabulary

As Hampshire Constabulary aims to make savings of £25m, 535 officers and staff are expected to lose their jobs or not be replaced once they leave

Police numbers are set to fall in Hampshire

More than 500 police officers and Hampshire Constabulary staff could lose their jobs as the force strives to make a further £25 million savings in its "biggest changes to policing in a generation".

The cuts were announced on Wednesday (February 12) in response to delivering further savings by 2017 as required by the government under the 2013 Spending Review.

The force said current projections show a cut of 535 officers and staff, although this will be finalised as the implementation plans progress.

The police had planned to increase its share of the council tax by 3% but were told last week that the government had set a 2% limit otherwise a referendum would be triggered. The force is now likely to revise its figure before the end of March.

Of the cuts made between 2010 and 2016, 20% of the total reductions will have come from PC ranks, 31% from inspector ranks and 36% from superintendent and chief superintendent ranks. PCSO numbers will be protected from cuts, remaining at 333.

The force said that where possible it will make the required savings by not replacing staff as they leave.

 

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: "Cutting £55 million since 2010 has been extremely tough for one of the lowest cost forces in Britain. Saving another £25 million means that we have no choice but to make further cuts.

"With fewer people, we cannot just keep piling the pressure onto a stretched frontline. That is why we have fundamentally reviewed what we do, how we do it and what we should not be doing when there is no risk to the public or others are better placed to help."

Mr Marsh said officers use of better technology such as mobile data and body worn video will cut waste and improve the way the force meets the needs of the people, especially the most vulnerable.

Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes said that over the last year the force has started to dispose of "unnecessary and costly police buildings", work with partners to tackle domestic violence and increase restorative justice to cut re-offending.

"The facts now show that we have no choice but to plan for fewer officers and staff, but unlike some other areas of the country, neighbourhood policing will be prioritised with dedicated resource," he added.

Hampshire Constabulary hopes to meet the £25 million challenge by April 2016.

 
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