HAMPSHIRE’S top policeman has hailed a six per cent drop in crime – despite more than 400 jobs being cut to save cash.
Chief constable Alex Marshall revealed reported crimes across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight fell to 133,585 last year from 142,152 in 2009/10.
Mr Marshall said: ‘We have reduced the number of people who are employed to ensure we can deliver the £20m savings we need to make this year.
‘By last week we had dropped by around 250 police staff and 160 police officers so there were around 400 fewer employees.
‘Therefore I’m pleased that crime overall has dropped by six per cent during the year and we managed to bring forward an underspend of around £11m which will help us achieve the savings we need.’ Mr Marshall has said he is determined to protect the front line as the force battle to save £50m by 2015.
John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman, said: ‘I welcome these figures with a note of caution. The reduction in police officers and police staff has only just been implemented and therefore our fears that this will result in an increase in crime will be something for the future. I sincerely hope this is not the case but our fears are that with fewer people doing the job, crime could increase.’