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Warning given over further cuts to police

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THERE is ‘little more’ Hampshire police can do other than cut police officers and staff in its latest battles to save cash, Hampshire’s police and crime comissioner has said.

Simon Hayes made the comments during a speech he gave at the Rotary Club of Fareham’s lunch meeting at Cams Hall Golf Club yesterday.

He gave a talk as the force battles to save an extra £25m by Aptil 2017 on top of £55m it has already saved due to government spending cuts.

Mr Hayes said: ‘It is a challenging time for the police service nationally.

‘In terms of Hampshire Constabulary, we have to find £25m cuts in our budget because we are receiving less money from government than we have previously, which is very challenging but we have a plan.

‘We want to maintain Hampshire Constabulary as a cheap force in terms of comparison to other constabularies in the country and we want to maintain a policing service that is there when people need it.’

Mr Hayes added: ‘We have saved an awful lot of money but there is little more that we can do beyond making reductions to personnel.’

As reported, 535 police officer and staff roles will be axed in the next two years. A breakdown still has not been revealed but Mr Hayes has vowed to protect neighourhood policing.

He also spoke of his plan for the next three years and explained his role to the Rotarians.

Mr Hayes spoke about key areas that he wants to work on – to maintain and increase front-line services, put victims and witnesses at the heart of the criminal justice system, to work with local authorities and statuary bodies to prevent crime and to reduce reoffending.

Rotarians probed Mr Hayes about work the force does with youth offenders and how it plans to make further savings.

Club president John Rowlinson said: ‘He has spoken to us at some lengths about his election and his role in changing the way Hampshire is policed and the likely forthcoming changes.’

 

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