IN AN open letter to the future police officers of Hampshire, Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney has urged the next generation of officers to make the most of this opportunity and sign up.

As a nationwide campaign to recruit 20,000 police officers gets underway, Hampshire Constabulary’s most senior police officer has highlighted the need to keep ahead of criminals by bringing in extra officers, new skills, and greater diversity. This will complement the experience and commitment of current staff and officers.

The plans mean extra training courses being laid on for detectives in the first phase. It has also been announced that a campaign to attract additional uniformed officers will also go live before the end of the year. These are both in addition to all current police officer recruitment plans.

In the letter Chief Constable Olivia Pinkey said: “Crime is changing. Criminals are more digitally savvy and often operate out of the public eye. To keep ahead we have built an award-winning cyber team, and we are investing in the health and wellbeing of our people in a way that sets us apart from other police forces. But we need to do more, and we need extra officers and staff. That is where you come in.

“Maybe you are a brilliant problem solver, someone who is motivated by being part of a team, or just want to build a successful career? You might have language or digital skills that could make the difference in an investigation, or maybe you just want to do a job that offers variety and opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you have never considered policing before.

“Diversity is something we welcome and want to increase. The realities of policing are not easy. We face tough challenges, but it is hugely rewarding to know that you are making a difference. 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.

“Our first extra wave of recruitment starts now, focused on detectives. By later in the year we will be in full swing, recruiting uniformed officers too, so sign up now.”

And Assistant Chief Constable Craig Dibdin, who is leading the forces uplift plans, said: “We have an opportunity to increase our police officer numbers in a way that we did not think would be possible. This is great news for our communities. “