Revealed: Hampshire police set to axe 160 jobs in bid to save £7m

Hampshire chief constable Olivia Pinkney
Hampshire chief constable Olivia Pinkney
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More than 100 police officer jobs and 50 staff positions are to be axed in £6m budget cuts, The News can reveal.

Hampshire police are preparing to reduce the dog unit by 15 officers, cut traffic cops by 20 and its intelligence and surveillance units by more than 30 positions.

Hampshire police's marine unit

Hampshire police's marine unit

Two officers will be axed on the force’s marine unit, the force has said.

Police hope the changes will save the force £6.9m but admit this will ‘reduce capacity and resilience’.

The bulk of the job cuts will be made in 2018/19 but the force has worked with consultants to draw up a list of 200 ‘savings opportunities’ for the future.

Around £24.75m needs to be saved in the next four years, a report to Hampshire’s Police and Crime Panel said.

It comes as police and crime commissioner Michael Lane has recommended the police’s part of council tax to increase £12 a year for band D households.

The report seen by The News said the cuts being made are ‘deemed by the chief constable to be those that have the lowest operational impact on risk to the public and relatively low complexity’ so can be made in 2018/19.

The full list of cuts, with savings anticipated, and the number of police officer posts and staff positions affected, are:

• Crime Reporting Bureau £0.421m; 0 officers, 15 staff

• Forensic Resource Management Unit (FRMU) £0.164m; 0 officers 5 staff

• Marine Unit – vacancies only £0.086m; 2 officers 0 staff

• Roads Policing Unit £1m; 20 officers 0 staff

• Roads Policing Unit Intelligence £0.089m; 0 officers 2 staff

• Dog Unit £0.368m; 15 officers 0 staff

• Force Support Unit £1.515m; 27 officers 0 staff

• Firearms Cadre £0.264m; 4 officers, 0 staff

• Dedicated Source Unit £0.439m; 7 officers 1 staff

• Hampshire Surveillance Unit £0.506m; 12 officers 1 staff

• Intelligence functions £1.009m; 16 officers, 4 staff

• Force Custody £0.549m; 5.5 officers, 7 staff

• Evidence Management £0.339m 0 officers, 10.5 staff

• ID Suite Team £0.213m; 0 officers, 7 staff

Some of the positions are currently vacant.

The report warns of £10.6m cuts between 2019/20 and 2020/21 with more jobs to be axed. Around £80m has been cut since 2011.

Other measures include saving £0.5m by re-tendering a forensics contract and savings from a reduction in police buildings of £0.3m in 2018/19, growing to £2m by 2021/22.

In all it means police are making a £8.1m cut for 2018/19.

John Apter is chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, representing the rank-and-file in the force.

He said: ‘We know we’re losing 160 posts – 110 of them are officer posts.

Mr Apter added: ‘In the very same week the decision is going to be rubber-stamped the police and crime commissioner is putting out adverts to increase his staff – it’s insensitive and ill-judged.’

The police and crime commissioner’s office posted a job advert for a £24-27,000-a-year grants administrative officer at the weekend.

Mr Lane’s office has been contacted.