A BID by police and crime commissioner to change the name of Hampshire Constabulary has received backing from policing minister and Andover MP Kit Malthouse.

PCC Donna Jones’s campaign to change the name of Hampshire Constabulary to include the whole police force area by adding, ‘Isle of Wight’ to the formal legal name started last year.

It is now given a big boost with the policing minister instructing officials to take steps to bring forward a legislation. Malthouse has also sent a letter to the PCC confirming this.

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The rebranding and name changes on police uniforms, cars and buildings will be phased in as equipment is changed and updated.

PCC Jones said this will prevent any public money being wasted on the name change. She added there will be minimal immediate costs incurred to amend legal documents in the production of court orders and other legal documents thus avoiding costs of a rebranding exercise.

She said: “I have received strong support from residents to include the words ‘Isle of Wight’ in the name of Hampshire Constabulary. People on the Isle of Wight indicated to me throughout 2020/2021 that they feel disconnected from the mainland. This is not helped by the name of the force being ‘Hampshire Constabulary’.

“I am delighted that my bid to include the Isle of Wight in the police force area name has been successful and will now progress to seek Parliamentary approval. The Isle of Wight is a unique community with a strong sense of identity.

“This is also complemented by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service who changed their name following the merger with the Isle of Wight Fire Service in 2021, to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service. There will be no big rebranding exercise, this name will be phased in over time.”

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In his response, Malthouse thanked the Commissioner for her representations on the name change and said: “I can confirm that I have instructed officials to take steps to bring forward legislation to change the name of the Hampshire police area to include the Isle of Wight.”

The exact timeframes for implementing the regulations will be subject to availability of Parliamentary time, though the name change is unlikely to be implemented before Summer 2022.

Chief constable Olivia Pinkney said: “It is welcome that the people of the Isle of Wight have been able to have their say, that their views have been listened to, and that there is a clear commitment to avoid any unnecessary public cost.”

Bob Seely MP said: “I am delighted the name change is being taken forward to recognise that the force covers both Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is important that the Island receives its fair share of support and is not overlooked.

“I am pleased that Donna listened to the voices of Island residents and set about making this change. I think she will be an extremely strong Police and Crime Commissioner and I look forward to working with her to address the Island’s needs.”

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