Hampshire police spent more than £400k on local events this summer

Hampshire Police chief constable Alex Marshall
Hampshire Police chief constable Alex Marshall

People told not to be alarmed by armed police officers on patrol

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HAMPSHIRE Constabulary estimates it spent £403,000 on policing local events this summer.

From April to September this year the force has been called in to help provide security for a wide range of gatherings across the county.

These events include the Isle of Wight Festival, the Farnborough Air Show, Bestival, the Southampton Boat Show, P&O Cruises 175 year celebrations and various football fixtures.

It comes as police across Hampshire seek to slash £54m from their budget by April 2015 because of government spending cuts.

The total cost to the force of all local events in the county over the summer period was around £1,740,000 – but of that the police managed to recover around £1,337,000 from event organisers.

Events where money couldn’t be recovered include the Wickham Horse Fair in May, celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June, the Olympic Torch Relay in July and Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight in August.

Despite their stretched resources Hampshire police also saw the number of crimes reported fall for the fifth year running.

Earlier this year Chief Constable Alex Marshall paid tribute to the ‘tireless dedication’ of his staff as figures showed 129,327 crimes were reported force-wide last year – down three per cent from 133,462 the previous year.

The figures show that on average 354 crimes were still reported to police every day.

A report on the amount spent on summer events will now be considered by Hampshire Police Authority.