HAMPSHIRE Police Federation has argued against changing the force’s name in a meeting with Hampshire’s new Policing and Crime Commissioner – saying there are other areas of policing where the money could be better spent.
The Federation has made positive steps in building a relationship with Donna Jones, who Zoë Wakefield described as “very refreshing.”
Zoë said: “She listened to everything we had to say. She’s already started looking at some of the issues that we’ve raised with some of the police buildings. She’s really keen to work with us. So our meeting was very promising.”
Hampshire Police Federation has been fighting to improve police stations, after the heating was broken at Portsmouth Central, leaving officers sweltering in 26 degree heat, as well as inadequate toilets, lack of facilities to poor décor and office furniture elsewhere.
Zoë said: “We talked about police estates, we talked about the new student officers and how it works with their degree side of it and whether or not police officers need degrees.”
The PCC has also said she wants to be more visible in the force, and spend more time talking directly to officers. She has pledged monthly meetings with the Federation.
She has also proposed that the force be renamed “the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary”.
But Zoë said: “Donna said that the reason for considering the name change was because she knows a lot of people on the Isle of Wight feel that they get forgotten by Hampshire Constabulary.
“But changing the name isn’t going to improve the service that they get from the police. We’re always still going to have the difficulty that there’s a stretch of water between the mainland and the Isle of Wight which obviously hinders some of our deployments and how we investigate things. So I’m not sure that the name change is going to make the difference that those people are looking for.
“My main concern is that we’re an under-funded force and a name change is going to cost several thousand pounds, and that money could be spent on so many other things. My view is that it’s not necessary and actually let’s look at how we can improve things with those people in other ways.”