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12 February 2014, 20:01
Hampshire police have announced 535 job losses.
The force says it needs to deliver a further £25m savings by 2017, as required by central government under the 2013 Spending Review.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said:
“Cutting £55m since 2010 has been extremely tough for one of the lowest cost forces in Britain. That is why I have been open in talking about the impact on our police officers and staff.
“Saving another £25m 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.
“We will be working with better technology such as mobile data and body worn video to cut waste and improve the way we meet the needs of people, especially the most vulnerable.
"I would like to reassure the public that these new plans are specifically designed to enable us to still be there when they need us the most.”
The force says where possible it will make the required savings by not replacing people as they leave the organisation.
From the cuts made between 2010 and 2016 20% of the total reductions will have come from PC ranks, 31% from Inspecting management ranks and 36% from Supt/Ch Supt management ranks.
Ch Supt Jason Hogg, who will lead on Neighbourhoods and Prevention, explained more about this key area of focus:
"Today's neighbourhood police officers are too often called on to perform other tasks, taking them away from the communities that they serve for prolonged periods. This hardly helps us to build trust and so we will end this practice by making sure that they are there when communities need them.
"We have looked carefully at how we can deliver the best service for the public. That means thinking beyond just policing and working with partners who share our desire to make communities safer. The introduction of a Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub within the Hampshire local authority area, following successes elsewhere in the country, is just one example of how we will better protect vulnerable people. The changes that we are making to the force maximise our ability to focus on this.”
PCSO numbers will be protected from cuts, remaining at 333.
John Apter, the Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation said,
"The latest round of cuts to the policing budget will have a dramatic effect on policing across Hampshire and the IOW. Police officer numbers will be slashed further and the very structure of the Force will have to change considerably.
"Without these changes to the structure of the Force we simply can not police the streets. We are in a critical situation and drastic action is required".
"On top of previous reductions there will now be further considerable reductions of Police Officer numbers across all parts of policing. Response, Neighbourhood Teams, CID and specialist teams will see their numbers cut to the bone.
"The public should be under no illusion that these further cuts will impact on the service we can deliver. We have reached a critical point and I believe there is no resilience left in the system, which is a dangerous place to be".
"The Government must stop and take a long hard look at the damage they have done to British Policing. Morale has never been lower, we have no resilience.
"We will now strive to be adequate and the people who suffer will be the public. This is a sad day in the history of Hampshire Constabulary".