Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Police job cutting budget agreed

Police
Hampshire police have not ruled out making staff redundant

Hampshire Police Authority has rubberstamped a cost-cutting plan to axe 200 jobs across the county force.

One hundred non-operational police officer posts and 100 staff jobs will be cut by the end of the year.

A recruitment freeze which began on 1 April last year will account for most of the axed roles, but redundancies have not been ruled out.

The police authority agreed the plans on Tuesday when it set a "challenging" £304.7m budget for 2009/10.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, who chairs the authority, said the cuts should save £9m.

The budget will see a £6.57 annual rise in the council tax levy for a Band D household increasing it to £142.11.

The cuts only affect non-operational roles.

I would like to reassure everyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that our priority remains your safety
Chief Constable Alex Marshall

Ms Rayment said: "The issue around the reduction in police officer and staff numbers is something we have wrestled with for some time.

"The authority has said all along that whatever savings are made in this area, frontline policing must not be affected, and that is a view shared by the chief constable."

Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: "Like many public sector organisations, Hampshire Constabulary faces a significant financial challenge in the coming year.

"I would like to reassure everyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that our priority remains your safety."

The current recruitment freeze "means the constabulary is set to achieve the reduction in police officer posts by April", a force spokesman said.

Other options to meet the budget constraints include opportunities for retraining and redeployment, and voluntary redundancies as well as early retirement.

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SEE ALSO
Force cuts 200 jobs to save money
23 Jan 09 |  Hampshire
Police face £8m funding shortfall
30 Jan 07 |  Hampshire

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