Hampshire police to cut 1,400 jobs

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Another police force unveiled plans for huge job cuts today, sparking warnings about the effect on policing with "difficult times" ahead.

Hampshire Constabulary will axe 1,400 posts, about a fifth of its workforce, including hundreds of police officers.

The force needs to make £70 million worth of savings over the next four years. Today's announcement follows news of 1,500 job cuts in Kent Police.

Hampshire's Police Federation said it feared the cuts and loss would have a negative impact on the service.

Chairman John Apter said: "We accept that there are difficult times ahead, but a reduction in police officer numbers will impact on the service those I represent deliver.

"It's not rocket science, fewer officers will mean the force will have to stop doing certain things. The Government need to think very hard about the consequences of such damaging cuts. I have sympathy with the Chief Constable, he is trying to provide a service with his hands tied behind his back."

Hampshire Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: "The coalition Government's Budget in June announced that public sector funding would be cut by 25% over the next four years and we await further detail from the Comprehensive Spending Review.

"Rather than think about what we can cut, I want to see what we can build with the funds that we will receive, based on the needs and expectations of the people we serve.

"Many parts of Hampshire Constabulary are under review and it is important that these reviews fit the likely structure of policing in the future.

"Police staff professionals will run many supporting functions from the centre and we will aim to cut costs by collaborating with other forces if it is appropriate.

"A 25% cut in our budget means we will have fewer police officers, PCSOs (police community support officers) and police staff working for the force, and we will look to achieve any reductions through the natural turnover of staff, but we cannot rule out redundancies."