New PCC warns of spike in alcohol-related crimes as lockdown eases

A newly elected police and crime commissioner (PCC) has warned of a spike in alcohol-related crime as lockdown eases next week.

May 13, 2021
By Website Editor
Newly-elected Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones with Hampshire policeÕs Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney in Winchester.

Donna Jones, who was elected to the Hampshire role in last week’s election, met with the county force’s Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney in Winchester for their first official meeting.

Ms Jones, who stood as a Conservative candidate, said: “With pubs opening and people celebrating their complete freedom again, I think it’s inevitable there could be a spike in drink and alcohol-related crimes.

“So it’s going to be a busy summer for Hampshire police but we are very well rated in the indices about keeping people safe and we all want crime to come down and I believe we have the right vision and drive to make this one of the safest places to live in the country.”

She added: “There has been a lot going on with Covid and I would like to say thank you to the officers of Hampshire Constabulary who I think have done an excellent job.”

Describing her ambition for the role, she said: “I am going to be someone who is going to make sure police visibility increases, there are more police officers on our streets and, ultimately, what we all want is for crime to come down.”

Ms Jones said that she was “absolutely committed” to recruiting extra officers, with a target of 600 for the county, to be funded through increased Home Office funding and through efficiencies.

She said: “Following the general election pledge in 2019, the prime minister promised 20,000 extra police officers across the country, we know in Hampshire that is likely to be around 550 but also through securing additional funds and working with the chief constable I want to see if we can find greater efficiencies because 600 is the golden number.”

Ms Jones added that she would be seeking to recruit more officers with an ethnic minority background after a report showed that were only three black officers, six Asian and seven of mixed ethnicity out of 445 people who joined the force in the past year.

She said: “I know the chief constable is very focused on making sure the new recruits do represent the community here in Hampshire and Isle of Wight and I know we have done very well in Asian officer recruitment and there has been more of a challenge in recruiting from the black community.”

Ms Jones added that she would adopt a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in the force and added: “There is no place in Hampshire Constabulary for police corruption, the chief constable said that, and I am saying that as the new commissioner, we are going to work together to make sure there is a zero tolerance to any form of police corruption.”

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