UP to 1,200 police officer and staff jobs could be axed over the next five years, the county’s top officer has warned.
Hampshire Constabulary’s chief constable Andy Marsh told The News the force could lose £40m to £65m in funding if government cuts come in.
That may mean 800 to 1,200 jobs will have to go in addition to the 1,500 gone since 2010.
Mr Marsh said the force is already efficient, and told The News: ‘If you take any money from Hampshire Constabulary it’s going to have an effect on frontline roles.’
The force has already been tasked with saving £80m since the 2010 general election.
He added: ‘If we’ve got to save £40m to £65m on top of the £80m, the way in which we provide services has got to change massively.’
If our fears are realised – and I’m not over exaggerating – I think this is the Armageddon of policingHampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter
But Mr Marsh would not be drawn on where the savings could be made and wants to consult with the public on how the force should change.
The treasury has told the Home Office – which funds policing – it faces 25 to 40 per cent cuts. Hampshire is using these figures to work out the number of possible job losses.
John Apter, chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, represents rank-and-file officers at the force.
He said: ‘If our fears are realised – and I’m not over exaggerating – I think this is the Armageddon of policing.
‘The public really need to sit up and take note.’
He added: ‘We have ripped the heart out of the organisation, we really have.’
It comes as Mr Marsh and police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes are urging the public to respond to a Home Office public consultation about how policing is funded.
Mr Marsh said the current funding model – now under review – is unfair and means Hampshire loses out on £10m.
The new funding model will be used for the 2016/17 budget.
Mr Hayes said: ‘People are saying to me that the service they are getting now is the minimum they are prepared to accept.’
He added he was told Hampshire would not be penalised in a new funding regime.
He said: ‘I believe, from what they said to me, the policing minister Mike Penning and MPs, they would recognise that Hampshire Constabulary has been efficient and is delivering and therefore we would not be penalised as we were in the past. It doesn’t look to me like that’s the case.
‘It looks to me that Hampshire is going to be forced to save money, to make up savings government requires, because other forces have not been able to.’
To respond to the consultation see hampshire-pcc.org.uk
Funding formula must give ‘fair deal’ for Hampshire police
THE way policing is funding across the country is currently under review.
The Home Office is looking at changing the old Police Allocation Formula, which works out how much forces receive.
The department is asking members of the public to contribute their thoughts on how it should change – and it is that consultation people are being urged to do.
Hampshire police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes and chief constable Andy Marsh say they want a ‘fair deal.’
They also want changes to the way population and the cost of policing the number of licensed bars are calculated.