Police set to axe jobs

By Richard Wright

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


THE ISLE of Wight will retain a top cop despite the latest swingeing cuts to be imposed by Hampshire Constabulary announced today (Wednesday).

Police have confirmed 535 officers and staff were expected to lose their jobs over the next three years, making 1,000 since 2010.

It is not clear how many Island jobs would go.

The cuts enable the force to achieve a further £25 million savings by 2017, required by central government.

The changes re-shape the force with an emphasis on district and neighbourhood policing to use front-line officers more effectively.

It retains a commitment to the existing number of Police Community Support Officers and the Island force will retains a superintendent at its head.

Ch Con Andy Marsh said: "Cutting £55 million since 2010 has been extremely tough for one of the lowest cost forces in Britain.

"Saving another £25 million 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."

Police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes said: "One year ago I set some clear priorities to 'protect people and places’ in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

"Since then we have started to dispose of unnecessary and costly police buildings, work with partners to tackle domestic violence, and increase restorative justice to cut re-offending.

"The facts now show that we have no choice but to plan for fewer officers and staff, but unlike some other areas of the country, neighbourhood policing will be prioritised with dedicated resource."

He said a new Resolution Centre was currently being trialled where experienced police officers helped to better prioritise calls from the public and deploy the right resources.

The announcement was met with dismay by the Hampshire Police Federation, which represents officers.

Chairman John Apter said: "Police officer numbers will be slashed further and the very structure of the force will have to change considerably.

"Without these changes to the structure of the force we simply cannot police the streets. We are in a critical situation and drastic action is required."

He said cuts on top of previous reductions would hit all areas of policing.

"The public should be under no illusion that these further cuts will impact on the service we can deliver," he said.

"We have reached a critical point and I believe there is no resilience left in the system, which is a dangerous place to be.

"The government must stop and take a long hard look at the damage they have done to British policing.

"Morale has never been lower — we have no resilience. We will now strive to be adequate and the people who suffer will be the public.

"This is a sad day in the history of Hampshire Constabulary."

How the savings will come:

• Reduced demand (including Resolution Centre) and improved forecasting — £8.5m.

• Management reductions — £7.7m.

• New investigation approach — £8.9m.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk


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by Barry Lewis

13th February 2014, at 16:23:24

The cuts are inevitable due to the state of the country'so finances however the police (and by that I mean the PC's on the front line) need the support of the public and the management.

Too much of their time is spent dealing with incidents, such as mental health issues and missing youths (by that I mean regular street wise missing kids whose parents can't be bothered to go and look for them or displine them) for e.g., that other professions should be dealing with.

As with everything if parents and the NHS say they have no one to deal with it as always it gets passed to the police. The police management are too worried about risk and blame to turn around and say NO, it's not our responsibility anymore.

It's time the bosses said NO and allowed their officers to deal with crime and the prevention of crime. Now more than ever this has to happen as numbers fall.

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by alan naylor

12th February 2014, at 23:08:49

I have seen criminals walking out of court with just a slap on the hand smiling you are all aiming your crititism in the wrong direction higher sentances would lower crime and would help them do their job better

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by Colin Barton

12th February 2014, at 22:57:49

Neil&David agree with you both.

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by Mike Crowe

12th February 2014, at 20:47:48

John, it's more about 'attitude', 'work practices' and 'priorities'.

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by John James

12th February 2014, at 19:53:50

You cant please all the people all the time, people moan about getting speeding tickets but then people also moan about people speeding and driving like idiots. Most people meet policeman in negative circumstances however they are essential and having too few of them is asking for real trouble down the road.

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by alan naylor

12th February 2014, at 18:10:44

Just like teachers thepolice force have always been thin on the ground for the job they are expected to do The Tories when thing get hard have aways cut services ie police teachers nurses all jobs that require dedication have more respect d ont call them PLOD their doing their best under very poor conditions

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by Mike Crowe

12th February 2014, at 16:53:50

I would have more respect for plod if he/she was on the street preventing/ SOLVING crimes instead of targeting the motorist with his/her Zap gun on a "Finance Rising Exercise"

I have been a target of a robbery and I am afraid that plod did not inspire ANY confidence in me AT ALL.

And no. I didn't get any of the stolen goods back and plod has not contacted me to say that .............. they are trying.

Get out of your flash cars, get onto the streets.

A few years back now, but my daughter's house was broken into. Plod didn't have anybody to look into it 'until tomorrow, leave everything as it is'. ...................... how come at about the same time, they could find FIVE to monitor the yellow boxes on Coppins Bridge?

Not much has changed as far as I can see.

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by B Lane

12th February 2014, at 16:05:28

Agree David, the cost of this post would be better spent actually policing the region rather than spending it on expensive buildings, assistant commisionairs and associated staff. More coppers on the street is what is needed not more bean counters.

We were told that we needed PCC's to maintain & improve the countries Police forces, does'nt look as though that's happening.

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by david wright

12th February 2014, at 15:20:07

Axe the totally unessesary Police Crime Commisioner and save £7million .


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by Keven Ball

12th February 2014, at 14:33:44

It is always sad to see any job cuts. The sign of the times still? Although, we have a so-called recovery plan in action now, do we?

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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