Public confidence in Hampshire Constabulary 'has dropped' over 101 service and focus on high-level crime - commissioner

HAMPSHIRE’S police and crime commissioner has said her force's 101 service has damaged public confidence in the police.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 8:32 pm
Hampshire police and crime commissioner Donna Jones met with recruits on May 20, 2021. Picture: OPCC

Hampshire's police and crime commissioner has said her force's 101 service has damaged public confidence in the police.

Donna Jones said people are dissatisfied with the non-emergency service as they 'think they're not being listened to' when in fact they are.

The force has tried to improve its service by encouraging online reporting.

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Police and crime commissioner for Hampshire Donna Jones (left) during a walkabout with Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney in Winchester, Hampshire. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Speaking at Hampshire Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday, Ms Jones said: 'The 101 service has come a long way, but given the feedback I've had from the public, it's still not where we want it to be.

'People say there's no point in reporting things on 101 because nothing gets done - and this is the result of the constabulary moving to high-level crime only.

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'Their confidence in policing has dropped because they think they're not being listened to. The reality is that they are, but don't hear back about it.'

One of Mrs Jones' top priorities when she was elected in May was to have 600 more police officers in place by 2023.

She believes that these new officers will alleviate some of the pressure on the 101 service, as Hampshire Constabulary can re-adjust its focus on medium and low-level crimes.

It comes as part of her 'More Police, Safer Streets' plan, with a particular concentration on tackling anti-social behaviour.

'I think that the consequence of the model the police force has moved to has pushed demand onto 101,' she said.

'I would like to see the focus moved back onto neighbourhood policing - that is for the chief constable to decide, but she knows it's a priority for me.

'But with 600 more police on the way, we need to focus on medium and low-level crime again - I believe the demand for the 101 service has gone through the roof partly because there is so much anti-social behaviour in Hampshire neighbourhoods.'

Figures published by the police and crime commissioner's office last year revealed that between April 1 2020 and March 31, 2021, there were 37,325 reports of anti-social behaviour in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Of these reports, drugs, alcohol and youth-related incidents were found to be the most common.

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