HAMPSHIRE’S Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has announced she will fund 75 more police officers, supporting her pledge to increase police numbers to tackle crimes that matter most to communities.  

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

The announcement follows a Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday, January 26 where the commissioner outlined her budget proposal for 2024/25.

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PCC 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.

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

“I am going further and announcing another 75 officers, bringing the total increase of police officers 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.

“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.”

Basingstoke Gazette: PCC Donna JonesPCC Donna Jones (Image: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Communications team)

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The proposal to increase police numbers follows a public consultation involving more than 6,300 responses from residents who said anti-social behaviour, speeding and burglary were the crimes they were most concerned about.

Consequently, 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 B and D properties.

The increase of 3.98 per cent is in line with the rate of inflation. It will raise an additional £8m for Hampshire Police in 2024/25.

The Police and Crime Panel supported the proposal and highlighted the chief constable’s progress since being appointed in February last year including police visibility, lower crime rates, and an improvement in the 101 service. 

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.”