MORE than 500 police and staff posts in Hampshire will be axed as part of a new raft of savings worth £25million.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh outlined the plans today for Hampshire Constabulary in response to the changes required by central government in the 2013 Spending Review.
No breakdown was provided of which of the 535 posts will go, but the force said where possible, savings will be made by not replacing people as they leave, rather than compulsory redundancies.
It hopes to reduce £7.7m by reducing management, and £8.5m by reducing demand, which would include posting experienced police officers in the force's call centre to better prioritise calls.
The force had already made £55m worth of cuts since 2010.
But John Apter, chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, said that morale amongst officers had never been lower and warned of a lack of resilience.
He said: “The public should be under no illusion that these further cuts will impact on the service we can deliver.
“We have reached a critical point and I believe there is no resilience left in the system, which is a dangerous place to be.”
Outlining the plans in Winchester, Chief Constable Marsh said the force would not move away from community policing and will maintain the 333 police community support officers in the county.
The force plans to work more with councils and other public sector bodies and services will be based on “sophisticated predictive analysis” to better protect vulnerable children and adults.
He said: “Saving another £25m means that we have no choice but to make further cuts. With fewer people, we cannot just keep piling the pressure onto a stretched frontline. That is why we have fundamentally reviewed what we do, how we do it and what we should not be doing when there is no risk to the public or others are better placed to help.”
Simon Hayes, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said the force had “no choice” but to reduce staff.
He added: “This reorganisation has been five months in the planning. It is robust and deliverable.”