Hampshire police launches recruitment drive as Britain braces for extra 20,000 officers

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EXTRA police detectives are set to be recruited as Hampshire's top officer pens a letter to potential recruits asking for help to solve ‘tough challenges’.

Chief constable Olivia Pinkney's open letter comes as recruitment across Britain starts for 20,000 new officers promised by prime minister Boris Johnson as he last night was left clinging on to a minority government.

Hampshire chief constable Olivia Pinkney. Picture: Sarah Standing (160563-482)

Hampshire chief constable Olivia Pinkney. Picture: Sarah Standing (160563-482)

Mrs Pinkney revealed she hopes to recruit detectives with courses being put on in the new year. But she also wants to woo new uniformed officers ahead of a second recruitment phase by November.

Top officers are seizing on the opportunity to recruit swathes of officers – although numbers are not yet confirmed – as they seek to boost diversity, bring in people with technology skills, and those who speak multiple languages.

‘The realities of policing are not easy. We face tough challenges, but it is hugely rewarding to know that you are making a difference,’ Mrs Pinkney writes in her letter.

‘I am so pleased the opportunity to join us is there for the next generation in a way that it hasn’t been in recent years.’

It comes after major budget cuts to Hampshire police saw a reduction of around 1,000 officers.

Earlier this year council tax was increased to pay for 200 new officers, 65 police staff investigators, and training for PCSOs – but The News revealed just a fraction of those PCs were new and PCSO numbers had been drastically slashed.

The latest recruitment announced is in addition to this. The 20,000 police recruitment plan will take three and a half years.

Assistant chief constable Craig Dibdin added: ‘What we have to do is to make the most of this opportunity.

‘We must get on with it, and what we are able to do immediately is to bring in extra detectives. We are expecting high demand so I would encourage anyone interested to get in quickly as the initial application window may not be open for very long.

‘Later in the year we will also open up wider recruitment for uniformed officers.

‘We haven’t yet had the exact numbers confirmed by the Home Office but what we are clear on is that our objective is not just to increase numbers.

‘It is for us to use this opportunity to become ever more representative of the communities we serve, resilient and digitally savvy.’