Page last updated at 21:43 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Force cuts 200 jobs to save money

Hampshire police has not ruled out making staff redundant

Hampshire Constabulary has announced it will axe 200 jobs - 100 of them police officer posts - by the end of the year.

The cuts will be achieved by removing some officers from non-operational roles rather than from the frontline.

The proposals will be submitted to Hampshire Police Authority in February. Redundancies have not been ruled out.

The Police Federation said it hoped the "frontline would be protected". The force said "the target may be met through natural staff turnover".

A current recruitment freeze on police officers which began on 1 April last year "means the constabulary is set to achieve the reduction in police officer posts by April", a force spokesman said.

We cannot rule out redundancies, but we will explore all options before taking such a decision
Chief Constable Alex Marshall

The chief constable added: "Hampshire Constabulary faces a significant financial challenge in the coming year [and] we are considering a wide range of options and proposals in order to meet this challenge.

"Part of the focus of these changes will of course be on protecting frontline policing and we are already looking at freeing up more police officers' time to undertake operational duties.

"To put this in context, we already have 40 vacancies within the force and, based on previous years, we may well meet our target through natural staff turnover before the end of 2009.

"We cannot rule out redundancies, but we will explore all options before taking such a decision."

The options include opportunities for retraining and redeployment, and voluntary redundancies as well as early retirement.

The chief constable said staff were being kept informed and that he had been talking to representatives of the union Unison and the Police Federation.

Geoff Crowe, from the Police Federation, said: "We hope that the chief officer will ensure that the frontline is protected.

"We are aware that he is already looking to move officers out of support posts and headquarter posts.

"But the impact of that, along with the cuts to police staff numbers, will have an impact on officers and what they have to do in their day-to-day work."

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