Hampshire police commissioner releases ‘urgent statement’ on policing investment

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THE crime commissioner for Hampshire has issued an ‘urgent statement’ detailing his investments in policing.

Elected commissioner Michael Lane’s office detailed spending, saying 98.3 per cent of his budget went on policing.

Hampshire's police and crime commissioner Michael Lane

Hampshire's police and crime commissioner Michael Lane

The statement has been published ahead of a key meeting tomorrow where Mr Lane will face councillors on the Hampshire Police and Crime Panel.

Mr Lane said: ‘My focus remains on delivering my promise to keep people safer, individuals, their families and their communities.

‘I want to reassure residents of the Hampshire Constabulary policing area that I am doing everything within my power to support victims, protect the vulnerable, and empower operationally effective policing.

‘I continue to invest 98.3 per cent of my total budget in policing, but am fiercely protective of the value of the relatively small amount supporting interventions beyond policing for the benefit of communities and individuals – as well as the reduction that they make to demand on policing.’

His office issued the statement amid ‘heightened interest’ in the police budget.

It comes after The News revealed Mr Lane planned to increase his office’s revenue budget at the same time 160 specialist police jobs were set to be axed.

The move sparked a confidence vote in Mr Lane, led by Hampshire Police Federation.

Listing a series of spending, Mr Lane said he had:

• Protected 160 police jobs from being cut in 2018/19 due to the council tax precept rise.

• Spent £800,000 a year on increasing the number of armed officers.

• Earmarked £800,000, with a £160,000 sum each year set aside, so all frontline officers can have Taser.

• Spent £9,000 on rolling out spit hoods.

• Spent £1.6m on mobile technology for response officers.

• Contributed £14m to a £30m over-budget project to improve Hampshire and Thames Valley police forces’ contact management system.

• Insisted the Hampshire police marine unit must be protected – not axed – at a cost of £557,000 until ‘a more cost effective partnered solution can be developed’.

• Saved £2m a year to the budget for 2020 by ‘investing’ in the police estate.