Hampshire Constabulary making ’good progress’ with savings

Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich

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HAMPSHIRE police are making ‘good progress’ in slashing up to £53m from their budget – but there will be 10 per cent fewer officers as a result, according to a report.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found the force had already planned how to save most of the amount needed by spring 2012.

The force has seen a drop of 390 officers – a fall of 10 per cent. And there are 510 fewer staff.

While 82 per cent of victims are satisfied with the service they receive from the force, this is lower than England and Wales as a while.

Zoe Billingham, HM Inspector of Constabulary, said Hampshire has a good history of cutting costs while increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

She said by March 2015, 71 per cent of its total workforce, including civilians, will be in front-line roles. While 87 per cent of police officers will be on the front line.

She added: ‘[The force] plans to increase the proportion of its workforce and police officers working in front-line roles by 2015. This should help the constabulary in its efforts to bring down crime and keep local communities safe.’

A force spokesman said: ‘Having driven out unnecessary bureaucracy and inefficient working procedures, the force is now better equipped to ensure that our entire focus is on catching criminals, protecting vulnerable people, reducing crime and providing an excellent service.’

Nationally forces must save £2.4bn by March 2015.