HAMPSHIRE'S newly elected law and order champion has vowed to limit cuts to police personnel.

Simon Hayes was voted in as the new police and crime commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on Thursday.

And now he has announced he will lower the cut of 390 officers suggested by Hampshire Police Authority to around 200.

He also views improvements in police response times as being an “absolute priority”.

Mr Hayes, who stood as an independent candidate in Thursday's elections, beat former Conservative minister Michael Mates by nearly 15,000 votes.

He has now outlined his plans to reduce reoffending through initiatives such as restorative justice - where criminals face their victims.

The former Tory said he was “not convinced” that the most effective way of dealing with an offender was to send them to prison for six months.

His comments come just days after he insisted he still had the mandate of the people for the £85,000 role - despite the worst turn out for any poll in Hampshire's history.