Hampshire Police – ‘no more cuts possible without compromising safety’
Posted by Andy Goddard
Posted in News
In response to the austerity cuts from the coalition government, police in Hampshire have released a statement warning of a weakened police force should belts have to be further tightened.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Simon Hayes has commented on the HMIC ‘Policing in Austerity: Meeting the Challenge’ report that has found police forces in England and Wales have met the financial challenge of the spending review.
He says it needs to be noted by government that the police has ‘done its bit’ in times of austerity, and that should be it.
“It is reassuring that the HMIC has judged Hampshire Constabulary to be in a good position to deliver the savings and it has congratulated all forces for meeting this challenge while ensuring crime still falls, victim satisfaction goes up and frontline services are protected as much as possible.
“However, the reality is that by 2017 the Constabulary will have had £80 million of cuts imposed on it. The most recent cuts of £25 million by 2017 will result in losing in the region of 500 staff and officers.
“These are extremely difficult and challenging times for the force and have meant an extensive review of how policing is delivered across Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
“As a result of the review, I have insisted that neighbourhood policing remains at the core of the policing. “The force has responded to this through its plans that include boundaries being redrawn to improve partnership working and PCSO numbers maintained.
“Fundamental to delivering this is my Estate Strategy which will ensure a cost effective estate that supports future policing in facilities, which are fit for purpose and places policing in the heart of the community.
“Going forward I question the extent to which more savings can be made through a future spending review before the quality of service is significantly affected and public safety is put at risk.”