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Hampshire’s chief constable to give up policing

CHIEF Constable Olivia Pinkney has announced she will be leaving Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabulary next April, ending 31 years of police service and is not currently taking any new positions within the force; the news announced on Wednesday through a press release.

And the county’s top police officer said: “It is far from the end of my time in force yet, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their ongoing support of policing.

To thank those organisations who continue to forge ever stronger local partnerships with policing, and to thank every single member of the Hampshire police family for what you continue to do for us all. I made the decision back in late June and I am announcing it now to help with a smooth transition and handover.”

Her announcement enables Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones to get on with recruiting a new chief constable. This process will start immediately, with the aim of making the decision on who the new chief will be by the end of November following a series of stages.

 Timeline for departure  

It has already been announced by the National Police Chief’s Council that Chief Constable Pinkney will be seconded to lead the national Strategic Command Course from mid-September until mid-December; where the main task will be developing the next generation of aspiring chief officers and wider executives.

During this period Deputy Chief Constable Ben Snuggs will serve as the Acting Chief Constable of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary. Chief Constable Pinkney will return to the force in mid-December, to oversee the final part of the officer Uplift and to ensure an effective handover.

  Choosing next chief constable

The Police and Crime Commissioner said in a statement: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Olivia. We have become a formidable team, and we will continue to work closely until her last day.

“Knowing this news at this early point provides time for a well-planned transition and handover period. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I have a responsibility to find the best chief for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight residents. There is of course competition between forces for the best chiefs, so I am casting the net wide to make sure that I can choose from the best candidates within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and beyond.”

Reason for leaving

In a message sent to police officers, staff and volunteers, Mrs Pinkney stated: “I strongly believe that every large organisation needs to evolve through new leadership to ensure we are able to continually be at the forefront – in our case of great policing.

“The day I was appointed chief constable will always be one of the proudest days of my life and every day since I have witnessed the brilliance of those I have been lucky enough to serve with. Even on the darkest days, people step up and bring light. They try to do the right thing. Going the extra mile, sticking to their values, and putting the public first.”

On her future, the Chief Constable added: “I return in mid-December with the last of our 600 (and counting) additional Uplift officers to welcome, and to work tirelessly for our communities until my last day. What the future holds beyond that I do not know, but my heart remains rooted in public service. I am not going to another job in policing. I said all along the only chief job for me is Hampshire and I remain true to that.”

Chief constable Pinkney has also highlighted the close working relationship she has forged with the PCC, saying: “Our Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna, and I have built great trust and have under way so many plans we want to achieve between our respective roles. I am very grateful to Donna for her time, understanding and support.

“Over the past couple of months, we have talked about what happens next, and I am very confident in that plan. As part of this she will choose your next chief constable carefully and wisely.”

PICTURED ABOVE: Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney will leave her role next year and is set to quit policing.