PEOPLE are losing confidence in the police because of the "management speak" of chief constables and fears that the force is leaving them at the mercy of vandals and yobs, according to the chairman of the body that represents the public on policing.

Hampshire Police Authority chairman Simon Hayes expressed his concerns at a meeting of 300 officers from across Hampshire and Dorset. He told them: "Public confidence in the ability of the police to police at a level of public expectation is being eroded away.

Mr Hayes criticised some chief constables for being "obsessed with management speak that may well play well in the corridors of the Home Office, but did nothing to provide a feeling of security and safety for people living in our villages, towns and cities".

But today the chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, which represents the county's 3,600 rank and file officers, denied there was a particular problem with so-called management speak in the force.

Keith Ward said: "In Hampshire, we have a solid working relationship with our own chief constable and the ACPO team generally.

"Government targets and the like can take away a lot of the core roles, and there are obviously people that have personal ambitions and generic ambitions for the police service. However, your ordinary bobby wants to be out on the street helping the public."

Mr Hayes, the prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole, also told a police federation meeting in Dorset how "increasing micro-management" of the police service was leaving forces unable to satisfy the public.

He said: "The public are suffering at the hands of vandals, yobs and thieves because there is nobody around to stop them.

"People want to feel safe in their own homes, on their own streets - but they feel it's not happening. What people have told me is that the public want simple, traditional old-fashioned policing, efficient and effective at the point of delivery, backed up by a court system that is robust and positive."

His attack came just a week after the latest Home Office police performance indicators were released, showing just 22 per cent of crimes across Hampshire were successfully prosecuted last year.

Less than a quarter of crimes were detected, although Hampshire Constabulary was found to be doing better than other forces of a comparable size.

Hampshire police declined to comment about Mr Hayes' comments last night.