Local MP Alan Mak has backed the new Hampshire police chief's plan to decentralise operations and get more bobbies back on the beat.
Mr Mak met Chief Constable Scott Chilton and Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones at a recent briefing about the Chief’s new operational strategy. The new Chief Constable’s three priorities are: the relentless pursuit of criminals, putting victims first and exceptional local policing.
In a scheme brought forward from April 2024 and now set to go live by December 2023, 90 dedicated neighbourhood police officers will have local patches in every part of the county, including in the Havant Constituency.
There is also a new locally-focused command structure, CID officers have returned to communities after previously working from area hubs, while there are District Patrol Teams and 15 brand new area cars set to be deployed by December to carry out proactive patrols and target offenders including across the Havant Constituency.
PCC Jones said the decentralisation of policing in the county was "the most significant change in the history of the force".
Chief Constable Chilton began his career as an 18-year-old recruit patrolling the streets of Cosham and values the importance of community policing.
Chief Constable Chilton said: "There is going to be a real focus on bobbies on the beat who know their local community. It is really important that people in each area know who they are. We will have a named police officer for every beat, and we are going to be very visible as a force."
Havant MP Mr Mak asked Chief Constable Chilton about the role of Police Community Support Officers and he said they continued to be an important part of the force whose numbers could be increased.
Other measures introduced since he became Chief Constable of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary have included a reduction in bureaucracy. The Hampshire force has also become the first in the country to accept trainee officers without degrees.
Mr Mak said: "Supporting the police to keep our streets and communities safe is a top priority for me, and I was delighted to welcome Hampshire’s new Chief Constable to his post. I shared the policing priorities that residents across the Havant Constituency raise with me, and I welcome his strong commitment to tackling crime at a local level with a renewed focus on community policing.”
Chief Constable Chilton said: “I know the Havant Constituency well and my policing priority is to pursue criminals and clamp down on crime with officers that have strong knowledge about the communities they serve. With more officers and new vehicles in the coming months, residents can expect to see more visible community policing and I look forward to working with Alan Mak MP and local commanders.”