THE police force in Hampshire could be impacted financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, a report states.

Hampshire Constabulary’s chief constable’s draft statement of accounts, published this month, reveals that it is one of the lowest funded in England and Wales. In February 2019, funding was approved for a net revenue budget of £337.3m, which was an increase of £22.3m on the previous year.

This was funded through an increase in the Band D precept of £24.

However, the budget represents £162 spend per head of the population across the county, compared to £203 for the rest of England and Wales.

It is now facing an uncertain financial future because of the pandemic and Brexit.

The report said: “It was not until near the end of 2019/20 that coronavirus began to cause severe disruption, so most of the financial impact will be shown in accounts for 2020/21 rather than 2019/20.”

It added: “The United Kingdom exited the European Union on 31 January 2020. Transitional arrangements remain in place but the event has led to continued short term increased political and economic uncertainty, further impacted by the Covid-19 crisis which has been the main focus of government.

“The eventual position on Brexit (including whether the UK exits the EU with or without a trade deal) post 31 December 2020 does have the potential to impact the PCC’s [Police and Crime Commissioner] and Group’s finances going forward and the estimates and assumptions which impact on the accounts.”

It continued: “However, it is too early to predict the impact on the financial statements, as the long-term effects are still uncertain, and there is likely to be significant ongoing uncertainty for some time. The PCC and Chief Constable will continue to review the impact in the coming months.”