HAMPSHIRE Police have been criticised after it was revealed they had spent £2.1million on consultants.

Needing to save around £24.75m over the next four years, the force have been battling to balance their budget and undertook a “comprehensive review of all expenditure”.

Deloitte, one of the country’s biggest accountancy firms, was paid £1,963.661 and Worcester-based consultancy firm, Process Evolution, specialising in working with emergency services with evidence-based software, received £190,641.

Hampshire Police claimed the consultancy firms have ‘business transformation skills’, lacking in the force.

The proposals, approved by Hampshire Police and Crime Panel, which included axing 160 job posts, were part of the consultancy advice received from Deloitte who drew up ‘200 saving opportunities’ between 2015 and 2017.

Senior director of force development, Terry Lowe, who reports to Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen, said the spend gave ‘significant return on investment’.

He claimed: “Spending this sum on expert advice enabled the force to achieve greater savings than it would have had, if it tried to undertake this process alone and could limit the number of police taken off operational duties.”

But John Apter, Hampshire Police Federation chairman, representing the rank-and-file police force criticised the move.

He said: “The force development is an ever-growing part of the organisation which seems to have more people working in it than are patrolling the streets.

“While I completely understand and accept we need people working in the background to make sure the constabulary is fit for purpose, I question whether the cost of the force development team and the consultants that go with it are appropriate in the current climate.”