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Hampshire PCC sets targets for officer increases post-Uplift

PCC Donna Jones is set to continue increasing numbers following the Uplift deadline in March 2023.

Hampshire PCC Donna Jones has already set out planned officer increases for the year following the end of the Uplift programme.

Within her 2023/24 budget – she has outlined plans for an additional 50 officers to join the force between March 2023 and March 2024.

The figure is designed as a net increase and will therefore be above and beyond recruitment needed to maintain or backfill leavers across the period.

Hampshire is not the only force to plan extra recrutoment post Uplift – Wiltshire PCC Phillip Wilkinson has proposed part of his precept funding will go on 40 additional officers, Dorset are looking for a further 15.

Meanwhile Sussex PCC Katy Bourne has said her proposed precept will “ensure we can complete our recruitment plans and maintain 3,096 police officers for the coming year”.

It comes as forces enter into the final push to meet their Uplift targets. With just two months before the deadline, as of December there were over 3,000 unfilled Uplift posts across England and Wales.

Hampshire’s target stood at 498, PCC Jones had promised an additional 102 on top of that. To date their figure stands a 550 and are on track for 600 by March.

Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “I am pleased the Panel supported the Commissioner’s budget, which will enable 50 extra officers and put the new chief constable in the best position to deliver on his plans for the future of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary.”

At the end of last year, the Government gave PCCs the option to implement a council tax increase of up to £15 (per year – based on a Band D property) to pay for policing.

The government announced the Police Finance Settlement in the autumn of 2022 which provided £246.9million Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabulary (HIOWC) which is just 1.8% or £4.35m extra cash.

In terms of how other forces are doing, according to the government’s quarterly update on Uplift dating to December 2022, Hertfordshire have recruited 196 officers under Uplift of an allocation of 304, the Met have done 3,217 of an allocation of 4,557 and GMP 991 of 1,155.

The full set of statistics is available on the government's site. 

PCC Jones said: “This budget will allow for continued investment in your police force, in the issues that matter to you outlined in my Police and Crime Plan ‘More Police, Safer Streets’ and in terms of recruitment programmes, it will ensure Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary is one of the country’s best performing forces.

“As your Commissioner, I will do everything I can to improve police visibility.”

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