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Police and Crime Commissioner announces funding for 75 more police officers for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary

26 January 2024

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones has announced she will fund 75 more police officers to continue her pledge to increase police numbers to tackle crimes that matter most to communities.

The extra roles will mean the Commissioner has funded the force to increase its number of police officers by 725 since March 2020.

The announcement has come after the Commissioner set out her proposal to the Police and Crime Panel for her 2024/25 budget on Friday 26 January.

PCC Donna Jones said: “When I became Commissioner in May 2021, the public told me they wanted more police officers on their streets. I have delivered on my promise to ensure the force recruited 600 additional police officers by April 2023 as part of the national uplift programme.

“In January 2023, I funded another 50 police officers. That funding has made way for the introduction of Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams for every district.

“Today, I am going further and announcing another 75 officers, bringing the total increase of police officers for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary since 2020 to 725. I’ve paid for this by sound financial planning and delivering value for money for the public. This is all part of my absolute commitment and focus to getting as many police on the streets as quickly as I can, as I promised to the public as their PCC.

“The extra funding will go towards ensuring I can deliver on my pledge to open 10 more police stations to the public. Additional officers is one part of fighting crime and making your neighbourhood safer. Making sure they are in the heart of communities is paramount.

“This funding will also support the Chief Constable’s new operating model which is already showing huge signs of success in crime reduction and increased charge rates. The launch of my Local Bobby scheme means every community now has a named local police officer they can contact directly.”

The Commissioner’s proposal to further increase police numbers with the extra funds followed an extensive consultation with local residents.

Receiving more than 6,300 responses from the public, the majority of people told the Commissioner anti-social behaviour, speeding and burglary were the crimes they were most concerned about.

Listening to these concerns, the Commissioner proposed an increase in the police precept of the council tax by 19p per week which is 83p per month or £10 per year, based on Band D properties.

The increase of 3.98% is in line with the rate of inflation. It will raise an additional £8million for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary in 2024/25.

The Police and Crime Panel supported the Commissioner’s proposal and noted the Chief Constable’s progress since being appointed in February last year. Namely, that police are more visible in communities, crime rates have gone down and the 101 service has drastically improved.

Commissioner Jones concluded: “I want to place on record how proud I am to be Commissioner of one the best forces in the country. Police officers and staff are doing an amazing job taking the fight to criminals under Scott Chilton’s leadership. It has been an incredible, transformative year.”

Chief Constable Scott Chilton said: “Over the last year, we have started to show what is possible with a significant improvement in performance and visibility. More burglars, more sex offenders, and more violent individuals off our streets and facing justice.

“The momentum must continue, and I want to deliver it as far and as fast as possible. The support of the public, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the members of today’s Crime Panel will help our excellent police staff and officers to do just that.”

Key takeaways

  • At the end of last year, the Government gave PCCs the option to implement a council tax increase of up to £13 (per year – based on a Band D property) to pay for policing.
  • The PCC’s view is that increasing the council tax by £10 per year on Band D properties (3.98%) balances the need to take into account the cost of living pressures whilst still continuing to provide more policing to deliver the Police and Crime Plan and for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to continue to be two of the safest places to live, work and visit in the country.
  • 61% of households across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are in properties in Council Tax bands A-C and therefore a precept increase of less than £10 per year for the majority.
  • The increase in precept will raise £8million worth of funds for 2024/25.
  • The Police Core Grant funding settlement from Government shows will be £237.2, which is an increase of 2.1% or, £4.8million more than last year. This is below the rate of inflation.
  • The PCC’s total 2024/25 budget of £462.4 million ensures there is significant investment to enable ‘More Police, Safer Streets’, an increase police officer numbers by 75, and continued investment in the police estate, police officer pay, utilities and fuel to ensure the force is operationally effective and provides a modern and safe working environment for police officers and staff to be able to do their job.