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PCC loses 'no confidence' vote

Officers participated in a poll issued in response to claims PCC Michael Lane mislead the public over a council tax hike
Published - 13/04/2018 By - Sophie Garrod - Police Oracle

An overwhelming majority of officers have taken a vote of no confidence in their police and crime commissioner, Police Oracle can reveal.

In a leaked email, the damning results to a recent poll launched by Hampshire Police Federation Chairman John Apter shows 98 per cent of the 1,608 officers who participated, have no confidence in PCC Michael Lane.

The poll was triggered in response to claims Mr Lane mislead the public over a council tax hike.

In January, the police and crime panel voted against the PCC’s proposal to use a chunk of the £120million raised by the police precept to pay for “essential staff.”

Mr Lane’s budget plans included an additional £440,000 to pay for extra personnel, however, this will now be held in reserves pending a review, despite panel members advising him to spend the money on frontline policing.

Last week a job advert for a £60k assistant commissioner for Mr Lane appeared despite the force's dog and roads unit being slashed and its support unit disbanded last week.

For legal reasons the Fed was unable to share the results publically, however, in an email sent to a member, which Police Oracle has seen, Mr Apter said: “You have spoken and I will make sure your voice is heard. I will urge Mr Lane to take due notice of the vote and think long and hard on his proposals.

“I will ask him to revisit his budget and make sure every penny goes into policing, this is what the public would expect.

“My position has always been clear – any extra money allocated to Hampshire Police should be spent directly on policing. It is as simple as that. I will never stop pushing for what is right for the force - never.”

The topic was raised at the police and crime panel meeting on Friday, however, Mr Lane refused to discuss the matter further.

Mr Apter added it is now down to the panel to decide what to do with the information, however, the body has no power to remove or disqualify the PCC, which could only happen through bankruptcy, extreme ill-health, death or being convicted of a crime punishable through jail time.

Mr Lane said: “I care about our police officers and staff, and working to ensure people in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton are safer is my absolute priority.

“I take the views of all police officers, including those who took the time to vote, extremely seriously and I will continue to work to build confidence and trust.

“I have done all I can and continue to do all I can within budget to ensure victims are supported, vulnerable people are protected and the Chief Constable is empowered to ensure policing is as effective and efficient as possible. I continue to invest more than 98 per cent of my total budget in policing.”

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