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Hampshire Police Federation

Policing to face more cuts as Government plans to implement austerity measures across public sector

19 October 2022

The Government is unwilling to acknowledge the current crisis in policing, as the service faces the prospect of more funding cuts and austerity measures.

That is the view of Hampshire Police Federation, which warned that experienced officers could be forced out of the job simply because they do not earn enough to pay the bills.

Chair Zoë Wakefield was responding to comments by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who told the BBC that all Government departments would have to find “more efficiencies than they had planned”.

But Zoë said that more cuts to policing would have a “devastating effect” on the public.

She said: “The Government clearly does not understand or is unwilling to acknowledge the current crisis in not just policing but also the health service.

“Investment, not cuts are required to build these services back up to where they should be, providing that invaluable service to the public. I fear that further cuts will have a devastating impact on the public.

“Police officers are working hard to keep on top of the demand but they are struggling. So many are becoming unwell due to the pressures and strains of working in such an under-resourced, relentless job.

“We are already seeing experienced officers leaving for better paid jobs in the private sector. I fear this will increase. I spoke to a sergeant recently who said that as much as they love policing, they may be forced to leave for a better paid job so they can provide for their family. This really saddens me that we could lose officers who don’t want to leave.”

Zoë laid out the financial struggles of officers working in Hampshire. She said some have so little money they can’t afford to bring in food for their meal breaks – instead relying on the kindness of colleagues who share their own meals.

She added: “In Hampshire, we have officers who are accessing foodbanks, some who can only afford to fill up their cars on payday and have to make sure that it lasts them till next payday.

“We have also heard of officers turning up for a shift with nothing to eat on their meal break as they didn’t have any money and being given food by their colleagues. This is clearly not acceptable.

“Forces are doing what they can to support officers but they have to try and find the money from somewhere.

“Police officers need to be paid an appropriate wage for the job they do and forces need to be appropriately funded. Without any real investment, the consequences of the cuts are just going to get worse.”