My vision is for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to be two of the safest places to live, work and visit in the country. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, as a parent and as a citizen, I want Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to be places our children and elderly people can walk the streets without fear of violence or intimidation. Throughout ‘More Police, Safer Streets’ I will share with you my priorities to achieve this vision for all our communities.
People have told me unequivocally that they want more police on the streets. More police means more detection and more prevention of crime. That’s why my number one priority is to have 600 more police officers on our streets by the end of 2023.
To keep you safe, increasing the visibility of the police is my second priority. Having more police officers is great, but if you don’t see them, you won’t feel safer. I am committed to reducing bureaucracy in order to free up police officers’ time, so they can be out policing, catching criminals and preventing crime.
Priority number three is cracking down on Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). People across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have told me they want more done to tackle ASB. I have listened and I’m taking action with the creation of a new ‘ASB Taskforce’. The Police are just one of the partners key to solving ASB issues. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I will be working with councils, landowners, schools and parents to address long-term systemic ASB issues.
Making it easier for you and your family to report crime is priority number four. I will deliver a review of the 101 Service, of the Single Online Home reporting function via the Hampshire Constabulary website and seek to introduce a mobile app for reporting both rural crime and general crimes. Furthermore, I will ensure feedback is provided for all crimes reported across the force area so you know how your crime report is helping to make communities safer and the actions the police are taking following your report.
Throughout August - September 2020 nearly three thousand of you responded to my crime survey to tell me what your policing priorities were.
Between August and October 2021 just under five thousand local residents provided feedback on More Police Safer Streets. That’s why my priorities are your priorities, formulated together. Preventing crime by stopping young people from becoming criminals in the first place is key. I will commission services to support young people at risk of offending.
Dealing with high harm crimes, such as knife crimes, rape and homicides will remain the highest priorities for Hampshire Constabulary.
More Police, Safer Streets 2021-2024 outlines how I intend to make our communities safer and how I will deliver this with Hampshire Constabulary.
The priorities set out by the Police and Crime Commissioner in her Police and Crime Plan are clear. That the plan has been subject to such consultation adds to its weight. It helps me to further develop and implement the operational strategy for the force, building on what we already know through our own engagement in relation to what the public expects and needs from us.
The commitment of increasing officer numbers will help us to achieve our goals. Improving both police visibility and how policing engages with the public, where they need to report incidents and bring new challenges are welcome. It is all in line with our shared intention to continuously improve the good service that this force provides to the public.
As our force grows and our newly recruited officers complete their initial training, we will begin to see the difference that they make. This will allow us to further improve our service. We will tackle more of the crimes that matter to them, whilst also continuing to address the kind of hidden, serious and organised crime that is less often talked about. Our plans for continued investment in Neighbourhood Policing will help us to work with other partners to address Anti-Social Behaviour, to reduce Serious Violence and to tackle Rural Crime.
Put simply, more police officers will enable us to do more to bring to justice criminals causing harm in our communities. These are all an important part of growing confidence in policing and I look forward to working with our Police and Crime Commissioner as we work together to achieve this.
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has a population in excess of two million people, with the three largest urban areas being Portsmouth, Southampton and Basingstoke. Both counties have large rural areas which makes policing more challenging and adds to the complexities of crime detection. The majority of residents live in towns, villages, and rural areas across the two counties.
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has one county council and three unitary authorities - Portsmouth, Southampton, and the Isle of Wight as well as 11 district councils: Gosport; Fareham; Winchester; Havant; East Hampshire; Hart; Rushmoor; Basingstoke and Deane; Test Valley; Eastleigh; and the New Forest.
There are two major ports, two national parks, two airports as well as major road, rail and ferry networks.
The public sector represents the largest employment sector in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, which includes: Hampshire Constabulary, Local Authorities, the NHS, Ministry of Defence; as well as large private sector employers.
As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I will ensure residents, as well as businesses and retailers, are represented.
Increasing the number of police officers on our streets is my top priority. 600 additional officers represents a 25% uplift in officer numbers. This will therefore make a significant difference in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Supporting the Government’s police officer uplift programme, I will use my experience to ensure the policing budget is spent wisely to increase the number of new recruits.
• Support and challenge the Chief Constable to ensure the police uplift recruitment programme is delivered on time and is representative of the community it serves.
• Enable new police officers to focus on delivering policing in local communities.
• Commission preventative support programmes to reduce crime. This will free up police time to focus on the crimes that matter to you.
• Encourage and monitor use of Out of Court Disposals in Hampshire Constabulary.
• Develop volunteer groups across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to support policing.
• Work closely with volunteer groups such as Neighbourhood Watch, Community Speedwatch and Hampshire Constabulary Special Constables to make the police more informed in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
I will work with Hampshire Constabulary to improve police visibility by bringing neighbourhood policing to your community. By seeing more police officers, not only will you be able to share information with them, it will help to make people feel safer.
This will help to deliver a greater community-focused policing service, with buildings and police officers more accessible in the heart of local communities.
• Review the police estate strategy to ensure neighbourhood police teams are where they are needed most.
• Introduce mobile police desks in public places.
• Better locate police buildings on high streets, making them accessible to the public.
• Invest in technology, allowing police officers to tackle crime rather than spend time filling in forms.
• Work with local councils to increase the number of Third Party Reporting Centres (TPRCs), allowing victims of hate crimes to make a report in multiple locations.
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) has increased over recent years. It can have a real and detrimental impact on people’s lives and in some cases, can lead to crime.
Whilst many incidents of ASB are not criminal, I am committed to tackling ASB by working with key partners, including local authorities and community safety partnerships, to solve as many issues as possible.
• Set up and lead an action-focused ASB Taskforce.
• Work with housing providers to pilot schemes in hotspot areas with young people to divert them away from ASB.
• Invest in new projects and commissioned services to reduce ASB.
• Explore increased use of Restorative Justice for victims of ASB.
Long call waiting times, repetitive messages, no feedback, and a perceived lack of action are some of the comments I have received about the 101 service. I will make it easier for you to report crime and receive feedback, which will include an overhaul of the online crime reporting function via the Hampshire Constabulary website, as well as introducing a new police app for reporting crime.
• Challenge Hampshire Constabulary to improve 101 services, including recording of incidents and response times.
• Support a problem-solving approach to Anti-Social Behaviour.
• Ensure every reported incident of crime receives feedback.
I am committed to reducing the number of young people committing crime. We need to prevent young people from taking drugs, carrying knives and joining urban street gangs. The interventions need to start early with parents in the first years of a child’s life and throughout their time in the education system.
• Work with police, probation and charities to prevent youth reoffending and first time entrants into the criminal justice system.
• Challenge Hampshire Constabulary and criminal justice partners to ensure they take a ‘child-centred’ approach.
• Commission services to support those who have or are at risk of Adverse Childhood Experiences.
• Provide support services for the most vulnerable young people, particularly those who have witnessed violent and/or sexual abuse or neglect.
• Engage with members of the Youth Commission to represent the views of children and young people.
I am concerned about the increase in knives carried on our streets. Sadly, young people are most at risk of being injured by knives with stabbings occurring every week across the area. That’s why I am committed to tackling knife crime and supporting the police in a zero tolerance approach with the increased use of ‘stop and search’.
Home Office funded Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) are being piloted through my office. Early intervention and prevention are at the heart of VRUs, focused on stopping young people from committing serious violence, developing resilience, supporting positive alternatives and offering timely and effective interventions.
• Ensure Violence Reduction Units continue across Hampshire and Isle of Wight.
• Encourage the use of effective 'stop and search' to make communities safer for young people.
Unauthorised encampments across Hampshire cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. The effect on local communities is substantial, including a heightened fear of crime.
I will ensure Hampshire Constabulary has a robust plan for dealing with unauthorised encampments. I want to see firm action taken, not only by the police but also by councils, partners and the courts. Tackling unauthorised encampments needs a coordinated approach to solving difficult and complex community problems that cannot be solved by the police alone.
• Work with partners from each council area, Hampshire Constabulary and landowners to tackle unauthorised encampments.
• Challenge and support Hampshire Constabulary to:
- Review the operational response to unauthorised encampments.
- Take swift and appropriate action when an unauthorised encampment is reported.
• Support councils and landowners to reduce opportunities for unauthorised encampments.
Victims of crime need to have confidence and trust in the criminal justice system. There are too many cases where victims are being let down, especially those who have been victims of the most horrific crimes, including rape, domestic and sexual abuse, and sexual violence.
Ensuring support is available from the first point of contact with the police, through to resolution including the court process, is vital.
Violence against women and girls has been an issue in this country for generations. Recent high profile cases have brought this issue to the forefront of the Government’s priorities. The key to reducing violence against women and girls is prevention and early detection.
• Be a national voice for victims ensuring their needs are at the heart of policing policy and criminal justice processes.
• Ensure victims have the support services they need, including support for victims of domestic abuse, sexual crime, modern slavery, stalking, and harassment.
• Make full use of the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund to invest in preventative measures to help women and girls feel safer in our local communities.
• Work with appropriate partners and the police to deliver programmes in schools to combat unhealthy behaviours, challenge gender stereotypes, and campaigns focused on student safety.
• Ensure that all victims are given the opportunity to benefit from Restorative Justice.
Rural communities are more frequently becoming victims of serious and organised crime. These often include machine thefts, hare coursing - which leads to illegal gambling - poaching, trespassing, and fly-tipping. This is costing farmers and land owners hundreds of thousands of pounds per year.
I will be a voice for those in rural communities ensuring that the police are taking the appropriate action.
• Increase the number of police officers in rural areas.
• Increase the number of drones used to tackle rural crimes and invest in equipment to support Rural Policing Teams.
• Introduce more beat surgeries in rural communities, for example at local community shops and during market days.
• Challenge Hampshire Constabulary to improve response times in rural areas.
• Increase police visibility in rural areas, including increased use of the Special Constabulary.
• Support the increased use of equine rangers.
You told me that you care about:
• Burglary, theft and stealing
• Business and retail crime
• Road safety
Community crimes really matter as they impact on people’s daily lives.
The impact of theft, in particular burglary, can cause significant distress to victims. The invasion of your privacy can leave lasting effects. That’s why I will challenge Hampshire Constabulary to ensure these crimes are given the priority they need. Protecting victims and catching the criminals that commit these crimes will remain a high priority.
• Challenge the Chief Constable to investigate all domestic burglaries and provide feedback for all non-domestic burglaries.
• Develop better intelligence sources, particularly in crime hotspots.
• Focus on prolific offenders and roll out countywide ‘Days of Action’ to proactively disrupt these criminals.
• Improve the support for victims of burglary and theft (within the home), ensuring victims are kept informed of the progress of their case.
• Ensure the police let you know what they are doing to target prolific offenders that are targeting your neighbourhood.
Businesses are a key part of local communities. There has been an increase in verbal and physical assaults on retail staff especially during the pandemic in 2020/21. Commercial burglaries and fraud also affect businesses and retailers.
You have told me that you want more support for businesses, especially food retailers. Supporting retailers who contribute to a growing local economy is important. This helps to make local communities feel safer.
• Ensure businesses know how they can access help and support.
• I will challenge Hampshire Constabulary to reduce business crime.
• Lead a forum where local businesses and police officers will share information, concerns and good practice.
Too many people die on Hampshire and Isle of Wight roads each year. Making our roads safer is a priority for the roads policing teams. The impact of traffic noise and speed on both urban and rural roads has increased, resulting in a detrimental impact on people’s lives. As your Commissioner I will ensure the Hampshire Roads Policing Unit are allocated more officers, allowing more capacity to prevent these crimes.
Criminals are increasingly using cars and vehicles to commit crimes, such as those involving drugs and firearms. The disruption of these crimes will remain a priority.
• Ensure the Chief Constable adequately resources the Roads Policing Unit (RPU).
• Invest in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to reduce serious crime.
• Create a stronger connection between community volunteer groups, such as Community Speedwatch and Hampshire Police Specials.
• Strengthen relationships with councils to develop solutions to improve road safety.
The best way to represent you is to understand your needs and concerns. I commit to:
• Increasing volunteers within the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office building on our Independent Custody Visitor Scheme and our Youth Commission.
• Meet with community groups to identify their concerns and represent their voice to policing and criminal justice partners.
• Attend Beat Surgeries with Neighbourhood Policing Teams, local MPs, and Parish Councillors to address local issues.
• Regularly consult with local communities to ensure community priorities are being addressed.
Thankfully most people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are never victims of the most serious crimes in our communities, crimes such as rape, murder, stabbings and kidnap. However, these crimes happen across our communities more often than people realise. Protecting innocent people and reducing the chances of these crimes being committed is a top priority for Hampshire Constabulary.
It is therefore essential that the police are properly resourced to enable them to continue to focus on tackling these crimes to keep you and your family safe.
There are five key areas that will remain the top priorities:
• Serious and organised crime and countering terrorism
• Murder and serious violence
• Domestic abuse, rape and serious sexual offences
• Child abuse, exploitation, and vulnerability
• Fraud and cyber crime.
Serious and organised crimes impact local communities here in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. These criminals work together, often highly organised to coordinate and commit serious crime. This includes drug distribution, county lines, modern slavery, and organised immigration crime where illegal immigrants are often exploited.
The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) plays a key role in making our local communities safer. Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) is responsible for coordinating our local terrorist response and provides specialist support to us in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is important that our communities feel reassured that we are ready and equipped to prevent and respond to terrorist incidents.
Regional Organised Crime Units are an important part in tackling serious and organised crime. These make up a national network of capabilities to respond to serious and cross-boundary threats as set out in the Strategic Policing Requirement.
• Be a national voice for Serious Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism to ensure Hampshire is at the forefront of this crime area.
• Sharing with the public the threat caused by organised criminals.
• Challenge the Chief Constable to:
- Further improve disruption of serious and organised crime gangs especially in relation to our ports, arterial routes and other prime locations.
- Inform local communities about serious issues so they know what’s happening, what to look out for and how they can help.
- Demonstrate that police plans, capabilities and preparations are sufficient for countering terrorism, and have regard to all elements of the Strategic Policing Requirement.
In the Serious Violence Strategy 2018, the Government prioritised murder, knife and gun crime, as well as areas of criminality where serious violence or threat is very likely, such as in gangs or drug dealing networks. It is clear there is a strong link between serious violence, drug-related harm and exploitation from the county lines criminal operations. Serious crimes have a devastating impact on victims and take a considerable amount of policing time and resources to investigate. Whilst a rare occurrence, murder offences still happen and in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight there were 10 offences in 2020/21 and 1,131 crimes classed as serious violence.
• Challenge the Chief Constable to reduce murder and serious violence crime rates across the force area, as well as gun, knife and weapons-enabled attacks.
• Challenge health services, particularly mental health, to support those most in need.
• Develop greater understanding of root causes of serious violent crime and to make better use of diversionary support services to prevent an escalation of offending.
• Undertake a full review of training given to officers and staff dealing with violence against women and girls offences, to ensure they provide the best possible service and support to the victim.
• Work with offenders who have a ‘lived experience’ to help children and young people who have offended make better choices. This will be delivered through the Violence Reduction Units.
Rape and serious sexual offences affect thousands of people, their families and friends each year. There were 5,540 sexual offences, including 1,840 rape reports in Hampshire between 2020/21. These crimes can happen both in rural and urban areas, mostly affecting women and girls. The public need to have confidence in police and the criminal justice system to report these types of crimes. By better understanding what stops victims speaking out against their perpetrator, I can ensure support for victims when they have the courage to come forward and seek justice.
Domestic abuse charities reported a surge in demand for services as a result of the restrictions imposed to control the spread of coronavirus. The lockdowns imposed resulted in those vulnerable to violence and abuse being increasingly isolated from support and safety. There were 25,796 domestic abuse offences recorded between April 2020 and March 2021 across Hampshire and Isle of Wight. Domestic abuse includes violence as well as crimes of coercion and control. Protecting victims and children who experience fear due to domestic abuse is essential in order to break the cycle and prevent risk to life.
• Chair the Local Criminal Justice Board to ensure that all partners across the criminal justice system are focused on bringing offenders to justice.
• Ensure Hampshire Constabulary assess and deliver best practice in working with victims to capture evidence, including consideration of remote evidence centres.
• Ensure that all officers and staff dealing with violence and sexual assaults against females receive training so they know how to best support victims of these sensitive crimes.
Ensuring the force places children at the centre of the way it polices is important. Doing everything we can to prevent the criminalisation of children and to stop them becoming involved in the criminal justice system is a key priority. Better outcomes for all children depend on a consistent approach to children’s safety, care and support, tackling child abuse and exploitation, as well as dealing with online harms such as coercion and sexualised images.
Motivations of offenders are wide ranging, including abuse of power, sexual gratification, and financial gain. There are many ways offenders gain the trust of children.
• Monitor and support the delivery of Hampshire Constabulary’s Child Centred Approach strategy, ensuring that the voice of the child is heard, to reduce trauma and break cycles of behaviour.
• Ensure there are support services for children and young people who are victims of abuse and exploitation.
• Ensure an appropriate amount of police resource is spent on dealing with missing children.
• Work with partners to share information, including schools and social services, to help protect young people.
Fraud and cyber crime are when perpetrators prey on vulnerable people and businesses, often for financial gain. There are many types of fraud: cyber fraud; telecommunication fraud; postal fraud; banking and credit fraud; pension scams; insurance fraud; customer fraud; and many more.
Fraud and cyber crime cost residents across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight nearly £50 million in 2020/21. There has been an increase in the reporting of these crimes which is key to their detection and prevention.
• Challenge the Hampshire Constabulary to:
- Solve more of the fraud offences reported to them
- Reduce the incidents of fraud through prevention
- Improve the use of cyber crime intelligence such as incidences of ransomware, to improve reporting from businesses facing blackmail at the hands of fraudsters
- Promote the activities of Cyber Specials and volunteers, and their ability to improve policing in this area.
• Work with banks and businesses to find new ways to alert people of new scams and ways to protect themselves (building on Operation Signature).
• Encourage and support initiatives that provide support to victims of fraud, tailored to their needs.
•Reduce the vulnerability of our children and young people when online, by:
- Championing Cyber Ambassadors in schools and the wider education sector
- Raising awareness of online safety amongst parents and wider community interest groups.
Each partner in the criminal justice system plays an important role in ensuring those that commit crimes are brought before the courts and sentenced. Ensuring the police work effectively with criminal justice partners, including the Crown Prosecution Service and the Probation Service, is essential to improving outcomes across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
• Chair the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Criminal Justice Board to ensure the system supports and delivers for victims of crime.
• Work with offenders to support them in making better choices to reduce reoffending.
• Overhaul stalking and harassment services in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to significantly increase the number of perpetrators completing rehabilitation programmes.
• Fund new perpetrator programmes to break the cycle of reoffending.
• Fund and deliver Restorative Justice services.
• Monitor the use of Out Of Court Disposals to ensure they are used in a fair and proportionate way supported by the victim of crime.
Poor mental health often leads to drug or alcohol dependency, both in adults and teenagers. An increase in substance misuse substantially increases an individual's chances of committing crime and of being a victim of crime. To reduce crime and harm, we need to tackle the cause. This is why commissioning the right services from an early age is vital.
• Reduce police dependency in mental health crisis cases by challenging the NHS to provide effective medical treatment for serious mental health cases earlier.
• Work with local retailers to identify prolific offenders (e.g. drug addicts) and encourage partners to use residential interventions to support rehabilitation.
• Commission services to support adolescents with mental health to prevent reoffending.
It is essential that Hampshire Constabulary has the resources it needs to provide an efficient and effective police service. When setting the annual budget, I will take a long-term view of both spending and funding pressures, and of the need to provide services to support victims and to prevent crimes from happening in the first place.
The budget I set covers both day-to-day services and investment in areas such as buildings and IT; in total it is in excess of £380 million per year. If there is a need to increase the policing precept of the council tax, it will only be done if the money generated will be well spent and is needed. Where appropriate, I will seek additional funding from central government.
I will continue to commission services with third sector organisations and others where this contributes to the objectives of this plan. I will maintain and strengthen support for victims of crime and particularly of sexual crime and will seek opportunities to reduce ASB and youth offending through the Safer Communities Fund that I administer. I am committed to also seeking out and pursuing funding opportunities from the Government to fund wider support services. Account will be taken of the views of partner organisations. Further details of funding opportunities will be regularly published on my website.
Responsibility for the day-to-day delivery of policing rests with the Chief Constable. My role includes challenging the Chief Constable to provide a good quality service and to deliver Hampshire Constabulary’s part of this plan. This will be carried out through informal meetings throughout the year, with both her and other senior officers, and through formal settings, including addressing the concerns of the public directly through online Commissioner’s Oversight of Police Services (COPS) meetings.