Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire Police to close 28 front desks

Hampshire Constabulary is to close front offices at 28 of its stations to save money.

At the moment people can walk in to 44 stations to report a crime, but this will be reduced to just 16 from April next year.

The force said the changes followed a survey in which most people said they would call or email to report a crime or make an enquiry.

Hampshire Police need to save between £40m and £50m by 2015.

Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson said: "The consultation with the public on how they wish to interact with us has shown a clear shift towards online self-service options as well as interaction with officers in the community, so this is where we will focus our resources in the future.

"However, we know that front offices still have an important part to play in providing access to our services, therefore we remain committed to having at least one front office in each district to meet public demand."

She said there would be additional front offices in some districts where demand was high or where the geography of it strongly supported it.

Most sites will be open a minimum of eight hours per day, seven days a week.

From 2012 people will also be able to report crime online and track the progress of the investigation through the CrimeReports website.

Hampshire Police Authority is selling some of the buildings occupied by the constabulary to save money, which will mean some Safer Neighbourhoods teams being moved to council offices, libraries or local supermarkets.

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