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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 18:10 GMT
Police face 8m funding shortfall
The number of Hampshire police officers will not be cut
Plans for extra police officers and equipment in Hampshire are to be shelved after its force said it had to meet a 7.8m funding shortfall.

The savings are detailed in a Hampshire Police Authority finance committee report for the 2007/8 financial year.

The authority says it is not getting enough funding from government and it will have to shelve plans for more than 60 extra officers and 100 extra staff.

The Home Office said police forces had seen "massive increases in resources".

Hampshire Police Authority says the funding problem is exacerbated because it is prevented from increasing its cut of the council tax by more than 5%.

But a spokesman for the Home Office said the government has increased police spending by 62% nationally since 2000.

We will continue to lobby for an adequate grant
Councillor Adrian Collett

The authority says the number of existing police officers will not be cut.

Instead there could be a net increase with proposals to make 55 jobs, currently carried out by desk-bound officers, civilian posts.

Councillor Adrian Collett, the chairman of the authority's finance committee said: "This is the ninth year in a row we have made savings.

"There is insufficient funding from government to do everything that needs to be done.

"While we have no choice but to accept this, we will continue to lobby for an adequate grant to ensure our residents have the police service they expect.

Crime team

"An investment is proposed in neighbourhood policing to ensure its success and the number of police community support officers will increase to 333 - although there should have been 206 more on top of that."

Some of the largest savings will have to come from the operations unit - including traffic police, marine and air teams - which has to save about 1m.

Also the crime team, including front line officers in CID and child protection, will have a cut of about 800,000.

No final decisions have been made yet and the plans will be discussed over the next two weeks.

A Home Office spokesman said the police service in England and Wales has benefited from "a massive increase in resources over a sustained period".

He added: "On a like-for-like basis, government grant and central spending on services for the police will have increased by more than 62% or more than 4.2 billion between 2000/01 and 2007/08."

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