THOUSANDS of Hampshire police officers could pass a vote of no confidence in the man in overall charge of the force.

Hampshire Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, is asking its 2,800 members if they have any confidence in Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane.

Chairman John Apter said: “The survey is ongoing. When the poll concludes the results will be shared with the Police & Crime Panel.

“Hampshire Police Federation will not be making any further comment on the matter at this time.”

It comes just weeks after Mr Lane was told that cash raised through an increase in the council tax must be spent on preserving police numbers rather than on his own office.

Members of the police and crime panel refused to fully support his budget proposals for the 2018/19 financial year.

As reported in the Daily Echo, plans by the Commissioner to charge the average band D householder an extra £12 were approved.

But Mr Lane’s request for £440,000 for “essential staff” was thrown out.

The meeting took place just days after it emerged that Hampshire was set to lose a further 100 officers and 50 support staff.

Speaking at the time Mr Apter said the public had been “misled” when asked if they would pay more tax to support the police.

Mr Apter said: “Until I read the detail in the papers I was not aware the Commissioner was asking for £0.5m to increase his office staff.

“At a time when we’re fighting for our officers to be equipped with more Tasers to keep them safe, when our colleagues are going out single-crewed to violent jobs because there are not enough police, I know many officers will look at this with contempt.”

Mr Lane’s spokeswoman confirmed that details of where cash would go were not disclosed in an online survey completed by 3,897 people.

But she said they were shared with a focus group comprising 114 people.

Mr Lane added: “The cost of the office that supports the Police and Crime Commissioner is still small in comparison to the norms of businesses, amounting to less than one per cent of the budget.”

He was elected to the role in 2016, succeeding former New Forest councillor Simon Hayes.

Mr Lane, a former Royal Navy commodore and Gosport councillor, vowed to listen to residents as he won control of a £300 million budget and the power to hire and fire chief constables.

Last year a call for a vote of no confidence in Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, was thrown out by Cornwall Council.

The motion was tabled by Labour group leader Tim Dwelly, who criticised cuts in police resources and comments Ms Hernandez had made about gun use.

But other members said it was not Cornwall Council’s place to decide if the Police and Commissioner was doing the job properly.