New Hampshire police headquarters now on hold

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Plans to replace Hampshire Constabulary's headquarters in Winchester have been put on hold, because of government spending cuts.

In February, Hampshire Police Authority chose to build new headquarters at a site in Alpha Park, Chandlers Ford, which it purchased in 2008 for £9.2m.

The authority reassessed plans to see if there were any alternatives.

Plans are now on hold pending the outcome of the constabulary's estates' review which is expected by November.

'Protecting is priority'

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, chairwoman of the police authority said: "Given the scale of the cut backs, we need to review the decision we made in February as a result of government spending cuts of 25% over four years.

"We have already considered a wide range of sites to replace the inadequate accommodation at West Hill, a 1960s building which is very expensive to run and does not meet modern standards.

"We will keep the site at Alpha Park, but have decided at this time not to proceed with the new building while we explore other, more cost effective options."

Chief Constable Alex Marshall added: "Our priority has to be in protecting the communities of the two counties, catching criminals, and ensuring we have a visible and active presence in every neighbourhood, and so we are reviewing our systems and structure across the force to find efficiencies whilst maintaining our strength in these vital areas."

Ms Rayment said a final decision may not be made until full details of the government's spending review are released in October.

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