VULNERABLE victims will be protected and Hampshire police will be a ‘standard bearer’ for doing so.
That is the message from Olivia Pinkney in an open letter to the public on her first day as chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary.
Hampshire Constabulary can’t afford to just maintain its position as a good police force. It must become a standard bearer for protecting the most vulnerable and reducing offendingOlivia Pinkney
Mrs Pinkney, the force’s first female chief, has taken office today after being chosen by police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes.
In her letter she said: ‘I have always believed effective policing is at the heart of healthy society.
‘That is why Hampshire Constabulary can’t afford to just maintain its position as a good police force.
‘It must become a standard-bearer for protecting the most vulnerable and reducing offending. And, as your new chief constable, I am excited about taking on this challenge.
‘A key part of success will remain catching those who prey on the vulnerable, but we can’t just respond to victims when they have suffered.
‘We need to be better at preventing offending in the first place.
‘This includes safeguarding the vulnerable, not least those at risk of child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. None of this can be done by the police acting alone.’
Mrs Pinkney, formerly deputy chief constable at Sussex police, takes over from Andy Marsh, who left the force to become chief at Avon and Somerset, closer to his family.
Mrs Pinkney has said she will work ‘tirelessly’ for the public and be as transparent as possible to explain the decisions made in tough situations.
She said: ‘The cases we deal with can be complex and the unfortunate truths are that we tend to deal with people on their most difficult days and much of the sophisticated work that goes on behind the scenes to stop people becoming victims cannot be widely publicised.
‘This means that what my officers, staff and those who volunteer their help do every day is important, but so is why and how.
‘If the police are seen to act arrogantly or as if they have a right to do as they wish, public confidence becomes damaged and victims are not put first. To be an effective police officer, let alone chief constable, you need to earn the trust and respect of all communities.’
And in a direct appeal to communities in the county, she has invited people to support her and her officers.
‘I want ideas, voices, perspectives and experience beyond the traditional spheres,’ she said.
Mrs Pinkney is joining the force as it recruits 198 police officers, its biggest recruitment drive in years.
She added: ‘Together we can keep this one of the safest places to live in the country and stop those who make people’s lives a misery.’
Mrs Pinkney was confirmed as chief by the police and crime panel on March 11.
Mr Hayes said: ‘I’m welcoming her to the constabulary and it will be good to have her.’
Mrs Pinkney is the national lead for policing of children and was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal this year.