Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire police spends £1m to fix 'shambolic' system

Michael Lane
Image caption Hampshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane said the investment would deliver improvements by May

A police force has allocated more than £1m to improve a "shambolic" finance and management system.

The H3 project combines back office services at four police, fire and council authorities in Hampshire and Oxfordshire, to save up to £5m a year.

The Police Federation said payroll mistakes were among a "catalogue of errors" since H3 began in 2014.

Hampshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said the investment would deliver improvements by May.

'Poorly conceived'

A report to PCC Michael Lane said H3 had caused problems with recruitment and the management of staff sickness, as well as "weighing down" police officers with "back office processes which restrict their effectiveness".

In February 2016, 1,300 officers received the wrong pay, while some allowances were wrongly calculated in March.

In 2015, the BBC learned that payment delays to Hampshire County Council's suppliers had trebled. under the new system.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said the system had been "poorly conceived, implemented and delivered".

"On paper it looked great but in reality it was shambolic and... the fall-out... has been nothing short of a disgrace," he said.

Image caption Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter said there had been a "catalogue of errors" since H3 began

Mr Lane said the "one-off investment" would "reduce the time officers will spend on the self-service system thereby allowing them to be more effective".

Former Hampshire PCC Simon Hayes said an option he had considered was to withdraw from the scheme, after problems were caused by "IT systems which don't talk to each other".

In 2016, Hampshire Constabulary said H3 was estimated to have saved the force only half of the £1.59m it had predicted over three years.

The force received £1.8m from the government to support the project.

H3 has combined police, fire and county council administrative services in Hampshire since 2014, with Oxfordshire County Council joining in 2015.

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