Police forced to ask for help

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A MURDER probe forced Hampshire police to ask for extra help from other forces.

Detectives from elsewhere were drafted to investigate the death of 13-year-old Lucy McHugh. Investigators from across Hampshire were working on the case.

The force then brought in other officers so county detectives could tackle the backlog in their own areas.

Officers from other forces were investigators and licensed search officers who worked for three weeks in August and September. This WAS on top of National Crime Agency officers who were involved in the Southampton murder probe.

Chief constable Olivia Pinkney said: ‘We’ve been open about the fact that the pressure on operational policing in Hampshire has never been higher.

‘We‘ve seen the impact of this over the summer, with the force having to ask for mutual aid from other forces to support us during this period of exceptional demand and to assist with some of our biggest investigations.

‘We have repeatedly made the point that national funding for policing does not deliver a fair deal for the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.’

The chief constable has previously said the force is underfunded by £45m a year. Together with crime commissioner Michael Lane she has lobbied government to boost funding.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: ‘It’s shameful our local constabulary has been forced to ask other forces to help plug the gaps and that the Tories continue to insist that it’s business as usual.’