Hampshire police officers vote ‘no confidence’ in crime commissioner

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Michael Lane at the meeting today

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Police officers in Hampshire have voted to say they have no confidence in the elected crime commissioner for the county.

Results of the survey run last month show 98 per cent of the 1,608 who responded said they did not have confidence in Michael Lane.

Michael Lane at the meeting today

Michael Lane at the meeting today

According to an internal police email seen by The News, just 33 - two per cent - said they did have confidence in the Conservative politician.

It follows an explosive row after Mr Lane’s budget proposed moving a £440,000 to his revenue budget while at the same time axing 160 specialist police jobs.

In the internal email seen by The News, Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said he will ‘ask (Mr Lane) to revisit his budget’ and ‘make sure every penny’ of a £12 council tax precept hike goes on policing.

In the email Mr Apter added: ‘Any extra money allocated to Hampshire police should be spent directly on policing.’

But in an interview with The News today in Winchester, Mr Lane confirmed the £440,000 he wanted to allocate for his revenue budget for his ‘essential staff’ would be spent staffing. This includes a new assistant police and crime commissioner.

Speaking after a Hampshire Police and Crime Panel meeting in Winchester, Mr Lane said ‘I know there was a vote, I have reports of the outcome.

‘As everybody, I hope, knows, that my respect for police officers views, including those who voted in any vote about me or about issues that I’m interested in is of interest to me.

‘I have nothing that I can act on that I’m aware of, there is nothing else I can say about that.

‘What I can say is 98.3 per cent of the money I have across the £315m across policing, goes to policing.’

He added: ‘I do care about the vote, yes of course I do.’

Mr Lane says spending the cash will have ‘added value’ for the police by stopping people getting involved in crime and protecting victims.

He added: ‘The smaller sum I have for beyond policing, protecting the vulnerable, reducing demand on criminal justice system - they are a critically important added value for having a police and crime commissioner.’

Asked if the vote and criticism has put him off the job, the former navy commodore said: ‘I’ve never had a moment I’m not motivated to do this job.

‘This job is a huge responsibility, it’s an honour.’

Police and Crime Panel chairman Dave Stewart, who had in effect barred Mr Apter from addressing panel members today, said he would not comment on the vote outcome when it was put to him by The News.

In all, 2,757 officers were polled in the federation vote, with more than half responding.

Mr Lane said the vote was ‘binary’ and did not give him something to act on.

READ MORE: Police officers polled in confidence vote on crime commissioner

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