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Local Bobbies are back!

17 January 2024

Named and contactable police officers for every community launched by Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones. 

Today (January 17), Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones has answered the public’s calls for greater police visibility and contact by launching a new Named Local Bobby Scheme; the first of its kind in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight region.

The scheme means anyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight can find out not only who their Local Bobby is but also their email and direct mobile number, making the police more contactable than ever before.

The Commissioner’s vision is for the public to have access to a named neighbourhood police officer to strengthen community-police relations, something which has been lost in recent years.

The scheme supports the Chief Constable’s priority to deliver exceptional local policing, and reflects the force’s transformation into a geographical service to connect the public to their police force once more.

The Local Bobby Scheme spans the two counties and provides every community, whether urban or rural, with a local named and contactable police officer.

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones said: “As your Police and Crime Commissioner I have been continually listening, learning and talking to thousands of people about the police service they receive. Their perceptions and feedback meant I was convinced very quickly that bringing back local named police officers to serve you and your communities was the right thing to do.

“Ensuring the public know who their Local Bobby is and how to get hold of them is vital. This new scheme will ensure people know who to contact about safety and crime concerns, it will also provide ample opportunities for the community to share information and intelligence easily, ultimately helping the police to police more effectively.

“This is a really exciting time for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary. The force has 650 more officers than it did three years ago. It will soon have 10 more police stations open to the public, and now each community will have a dedicated local police contact; their Local Bobby. This, together with the Chief Constable’s new operating model, is a seismic shift in service delivery.

“I will continue to lead the fight against crime by working closely with the Chief Constable and our partners to make sure you get the policing service you deserve.”

Members of the public will now be able to log on to the dedicated webpage, type in their postcode and find out who their Local Bobby is and how to contact them, whether that be by phone or email.

There are a number of differences between a Local Bobby and a Neighbourhood Policing Team officer, however, the key to their success is their ability to work with all policing teams.

One of the most important and welcomed differences is that Local Bobbies will not be abstracted to backfill other areas of the organisation – they will be dedicated to their communities.

Local Bobbies will be in continuous touch with communities, their concerns, there in their time of need, and addressing root causes of crime.

Welcoming the scheme, Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “The public want and expect to see us dealing with the issues they care about, responding when they need us and dealing with those who cause harm in our communities.

“When I became chief constable, I changed our policing model so that we be more connected to issues in communities.

“The Local Bobbies, our dedicated neighbourhood officers, are a key part of delivering this, bringing us much closer to our communities and delivering the requirements outlined in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

“They are also just one part of our policing response, supported by the wider neighbourhood policing teams, neighbourhood enforcement teams, response officers, local investigation teams and specialist functions. Together we will work to make Hampshire and Isle of Wight a place that is not only safe, but feels safe.”