Hampshire police paying £2.4m for officers’ housing allowances

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HUGE amounts of cash are being paid for individual police officers’ homes under a historic agreement.

Hampshire Constabulary paid out £2,067,222 in housing allowance and £329,570 for rent allowance between April 2014 and March 2015.

That has dropped from £3,164,016 in housing allowance and £1,443,906 in rent allowance in 2009/10.

But it comes as the force needs to save £80m by April 2017. And it is already tightening its purse strings ahead of any announcement over further cuts this autumn.

Assistant chief constable Sara Glen said: ‘The last few years have seen a reduction in these payments by our force as a natural consequence of officers with a greater length of service retiring.

‘These officers joined under different terms and conditions, which meant they drew different housing and rent allowances.’

The police regulations changed in 1994 and the government scrapped the payment.

Ms Glen added: ‘The newer generation of officers does not receive these allowances.

‘In recent years, as part of careful planning to meet the requirements of budget cuts, we have also reduced our officer and staff numbers by 1,500. This has also contributed to a drop in the amount of housing and rent allowance paid.’

She added the payments are nationally agreed and are not part of the force’s future saving plan.

As of March this year, 249 PCs, 174 sergeants, 79 inspectors, 22 chief inspectors, 12 superintendents, six chief superintendents, an assistant chief constable and deputy chief constable receive the housing allowance perk – a total of 544 people.

And 76 officers receive rent allowance including 31 PCs, 23 sergeants, nine inspectors, four chief inspectors, six superintendents, one chief superintendent, an assistant chief constable and the chief constable Andy Marsh.

In March last year, 617 officers received housing allowance and 107 officers received rent allowance.

Simon Hayes, Hampshire police and crime commissioner, said: ‘The payment of both housing allowance and rent allowance to Hampshire Constabulary officers, as it is for all police officers nationally, is in the Police Regulations so we are therefore committed to continue paying them until officers with the entitlement leave the force or the Regulations are amended.

‘Police officer terms and conditions were recently reviewed by Sir Tom Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, who decided not to amend these allowances.’