HAMPSHIRE is set to lose another 100 police officers and 50 support staff under plans to slash the force's budget by more than £6 million.

Hampshire Constabulary is preparing to reduce the number of traffic officers by 20 as well as making cuts to the dog unit and the force's intelligence and surveillance service.

And two vacancies on the nationally-renowned marine unit will not be filled under the plans. 

Police hope the changes will save £6.9 million but admit that they will "reduce capacity and resilience".

The cuts have come under fire from John Apter of the Hampshire Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers.

He said: “We have already seen the number of police officers slashed across Hampshire Constabulary by almost 1,000.

"These latest cuts to our specialist teams are yet another blow for policing."

Hampshire Constabulary has to save £24 million over the next four years following a series of cuts in the annual amount of grant it receives from the government, according to a report going to Hampshire's Police and Crime Panel on Friday.

The marine unit has a variety of responsibilities from counter terrorism to protecting major events such as the Americas Cup World Series and the Cowes Week Regatta.

Mr Apter said: "We have one of the busiest stretches of coastline in the country and that presents some difficult challenges, including significant facilities that need to be protected.

"We also have an extremely high number of marine users, especially in the summer.

"My plea to the chief constable is 'stop and think'.

While it was first thought that the marine unit would be axed, a police spokesman confirmed tonight that was not the case, but current job vacancies would not be filled.