Police and crime panel blocks PCC`s office-boosting budget in favour of more frontline cops

Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner has been ordered to spend any extra money raised through a precept hike on saving police numbers rather than on his office.

Jan 26, 2018

Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner has been ordered to spend any extra money raised through a precept hike on saving police numbers rather than on his office. A police and crime panel meeting on Friday (January 26) agreed Michael Lane should be allowed to raise his take of council tax by the new cap of £12 per band D household. However, the panel unanimously stated that the additional funds should be spent to bolster frontline policing instead of plans to expand Mr Lane’s own office. Hampshire Constabulary recently revealed that around 160 officer and staff posts may be at risk due to savings requirements. Mr Lane told the panel: “I will reflect hard on what you’ve chosen to do today and what you have one by one said to me under this item. “I’ll take seriously what you have done to me on behalf of the communities that you’ve heard from.” A total of 110 officers and 52 police staff roles could be lost across Hampshire as the force attempts to find another £7 million from its budget. The bulk of the proposed cuts are being considered in specialist units such as surveillance, roads policing, firearms and dog handlers. Meanwhile, Mr Lane was criticised for requesting an extra £440,000 for his own office. The meeting heard local residents were happy to pay more through the precept but did not want to also see a reduction in officer numbers. In 2017/18, the Hampshire PCC’s office was the lowest cost per head of population out of all force areas and is predicted to be one of the lowest again next year.

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