Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire Police boats auctioned

Three Hampshire police marine unit launches are to be auctioned off to help recoup some of the £1.5m spent on a new fleet.

The decommissioned 12-year-old Mitchell 31 launches are to be sold by April.

Funds raised will offset some of the money spent on a catamaran, a patrol launch and two Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).

The state-of-the-art fleet was paid for from the police budget and a £500,000 government grant.

The spend came at a time when the force is battling to save £54m by April 2015 due to government spending cuts.

But the fleet is expected to last 15 to 20 years, and police say the investment is a necessary one.

In addition to the three Mitchell 31s being sold off, a 7.5m RIB which required a costly engine replacement was last year sold to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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