HAMPSHIRE’S top police boss has promised to take the fight to the county’s criminals after the government announced plans to employ 20,000 new police officers across the UK.

Olivia Pinkney, Chief Constable of Hampshire Police, says she wants to use the force’s allocation of the extra staff to tackle criminals “further upstream”.

It comes after Chancellor Sajid Javid announced funding to support the recruitment of 20,000 new officers nationwide, with a first wave of up to 6,000 officers, who will be shared among the 43 forces in England and Wales.

Ms Pinkney said she did not yet know how many officers Hampshire Police was to be able to recruit.

But the Chief Constable said the new officers would be deployed in front-line policing and used to combat crime at an earlier stage.

She said: “I really want to use the new officers to increase productivity.

“We are really good at investigating crimes once it happens, but we want to do more about stopping crime.

“I want to use this boost to get further upstream and more productive in stopping those who want to prey on our communities.”

Ms Pinkney said the extra staff would also help relieve pressure on the force’s current staff, which she said had lost around 1,000 officers and 500 police staff in the last 10 years.

She added: “We’ve got the fewest number of officers per 100,000 people in the country and we still deliver a fantastic service. We really punch above our weight. These extra staff will help us.”

Ms Pinkney said the force was hoping to recruit people who relished working in a team and had a “real sense of service”.

She said the force was particularly interested in bilingual candidates and was keen to encourage more Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) candidates to apply.

This week, in a budget update, Mr Javid announced the Treasury would fund the recruitment of 20,000 new officers across the UK.

This includes £750 million for 2020 to 2021 and an immediate £45 million to kick-start recruitment.

Of those 20,000, the first 6,000 will be recruited in the first year, with the remaining 14,000 recruited in the following two years.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “By bolstering the police’s ranks we can help our dedicated officers tackle crime, protect communities and be a force for all.”

More information about the roles can be found on the Hampshire Police website.