Politician hits back at police watchdog

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THE police and crime commissioner has defended neighbourhood policing.

Simon Hayes, Hampshire’s PCC, said it had been decimated by government but criticised a report by a police watchdog.

HM Inspectorate of Constabulary warned forces were ‘sleepwalking’ to an old model.

Mr Hayes said: ‘It is rich for HMIC to now be criticising local forces when the rug has been pulled from under community policing.

‘Any “sleepwalking” away from communities is caused, not by policing agencies, but by government policy and ideological thinking.’

HMIC rated Hampshire police as ‘good’.