Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire Police shuts another 17 front desks

Hampshire Constabulary has closed front offices at another 17 of its stations to save money.

The force used to have 44 stations where people could walk in to report a crime, but this number will be down to 16 from 2 April.

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 Constabulary needs to save between £40m and £50m by 2015.

Offices at Tadley, Whitchurch, Farnborough, Fleet, Yateley, Whitehill, Petersfield, Bishops Waltham, Waterlooville, Hayling Island, Parkgate, Fratton, Romsey, Hedge End, Ringwood, Shirley and Portswood closed earlier.

The front offices at another 11 stations have already closed or will close in the next two weeks.

A spokeswoman said the force would "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 of the remaining sites will be open a minimum of eight hours a 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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