Hampshire Police to close 18 stations as part of cuts

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Eighteen police stations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are set to close and be sold off.

Hampshire Police Authority met earlier to discuss proposals which will see services move to local fire stations, council buildings or community centres.

The force faces cuts of £50m through to April 2015 but said front-line jobs would be protected until next year.

Plans to develop four custody centres were given the green light but plans for a new headquarters were postponed.

Those stations in Hampshire affected are: Hayling Island, Southsea, Alresford, Farnborough, Fleet, Petersfield, Stockbridge, Tadley, Twyford, Whitehill, Fordingbridge, Lyndhurst, New Milton, Portswood and Shirley.

On the Isle of Wight stations in Cowes, Ventnor and Yarmouth will close.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, chair of Hampshire Police Authority, said: "We knew that making these decisions would never be easy.

"The authority has been assured by the chief constable that safer neighbourhood policing teams will not be leaving local areas, but moving to new locations within the same communities.

"The move to new premises will allow front-line policing services to be at the heart of the communities they serve."

Hampshire Constabulary is to cut 160 jobs over the next year as part of £20m budget cuts.

The force, which employs 6,700 staff, will have a budget of about £314m for the next financial year.

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