This site uses cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work, and we'd like to use analytics cookies to keep improving our website. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences. For more information please see our Cookies Page.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Google Analytics

We use cookies to compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interactions in order to offer better site experiences and tools in the future.

Skip to main content

‘Arrests will continue:’ PCC Donna Jones backs Hampshire and Isle of Wight Chief Constable’s position in the wake of proposals to pause arrests due prison space crisis

22 May 2024

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones is supporting Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary’s decision to continue to arrest suspects despite a letter from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) sent to Chief Constables last week about alleviating prison capacity.

Chief Constable Scott Chilton has publicly commented on his force’s position today (Wednesday 22 May) stating that while he is aware of the pressure being faced within the wider criminal justice system, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary will continue to relentlessly pursue criminals and give victims the service they expect.

Commenting on the Chief’s position, PCC Donna Jones said: “I fully support the Chief’s decision that arrests will continue in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.

“The job of the police is to keep the public safe – it is what we pay them to do. Police will continue to arrest suspects as usual so that those who commit crimes and cause harm to others are taken off the streets.

“The Chief and I agree continuing to make arrests in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight is the right thing to do. Keeping the public safe will remain the police’s core responsibility despite pressures from the wider criminal justice system.

“The overcrowding in prisons is not an issue for policing, it is for the Ministry of Justice to manage.”

The comments come following media reports that the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) wrote to chief constables in England about the activation last week of Operation Early Dawn by His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service to alleviate prison capacity pressures until the introduction of an extension to the End of Custody Supervised Licence scheme to 70 days. NPCC guidance issued to chief constables stated that consideration should be given to pausing non priority arrests and planned police operations that might result in large numbers of arrests.

Chief Constable Scott Chilton’s statement