Police funding cuts 'reckless'

Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

City Labour MP slams budget for ‘failing Portsmouth’

Funding cuts of at least nine per cent in the next two years will cause 'irreversible damage' to policing in Hampshire, a union has warned.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall has vowed to protect as many frontline services as possible until at least April 2012.

But the Home Office announcement - which follows the government's Comprehensive Spending Review in October - has been criticised by Unison.

All-told the county force faces cuts of about 20 per cent in the next four years, as reported in The News.

Yvonne Cleary, south-east regional organiser for the union, branded the cuts 'reckless' and 'damaging.'

She said: 'This coalition government's decision to cut funding to the police is an attack on our communities and will lead to long-term, irreversible damage to Hampshire's policing capability.'

Kathy Symonds, Unison branch secretary, said: 'We welcome what the Chief Constable of Hampshire has said about wanting to protect as many frontline services as possible, but he now has an impossible job to do.'