Police force jobs cuts will help save £12m

Police officers patrol the Buckland estate in Portsmouth.
Police officers patrol the Buckland estate in Portsmouth.
One of the seven stolen signs from the Isle of Wight. Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

Warning over fears stolen vintage signs worth £1,400 could be sold in Portsmouth

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JOB cuts will save Hampshire Constabulary more than £12m in the next year.

Chief inspectors, chief superintendents and other senior supervisory roles along with police support staff face the axe – as outlined in the force’s Value For Money statement.

In total, up to 300 officers and 700 civilian staff roles could go as Hampshire battles to save £50m by 2015.

Hundreds of those positions will go in the next 10 months. It is not clear exactly which posts will be axed but already about 450 jobs have been cut.

Plans by Hampshire and Thames Valley to share services – including firearms and roads policing – will see 119 officer jobs axed across both forces.

But Chief Constable Alex Marshall has vowed to protect front-line policing and even hopes to recruit more officers.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Marsh said last year’s £19m underspend will be used to help ‘soften the blow’ of the cuts: ‘There are going to be fewer people working for the constabulary but it’s important people know and understand the chief’s commitment that the number of people working in Safer Neighbourhoods Teams, local response and local crime investigation will not reduce in 2011/12.

‘Our ambition is to protect those numbers thereafter.’

Cutting overtime will save £779,000 and reducing allowances will save £1.074m. Sharing specialist operations staff and merging IT support with Thames Valley will save £4.3m.

Combined with £4m from reserves and £657,000 from ‘economising’ including reviewing the use of police vehicles, senior officials are confident the force can meet its savings target of more than £20m by the end of April 2012.

More savings will come from the potential closure of 39 police buildings including Southsea and Hayling Island, stations.