More about this area

The logo of Hampshire Constabulary

The force says...

Hampshire Constabulary is one of the lowest cost forces per head of population. It is innovative in its partnership with other agencies including Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, with which it now shares a strategic headquarters.

This commitment to partnership is underlined by having shared back office services with others in the public sector and winning the November 2015 the Times Higher Education Award for work with the University of Portsmouth to open the UK’s first Forensic Innovation Centre. Other innovation includes Cautioning Against Relationship Abuse (CARA) where, together with the Hampton Trust, the force was recognised at the 2015 Domestic Abuse Champions National Awards. From 400 cases there was a 40 per cent reduction in committing further domestic abuse and a 20 per cent reduction in other crime.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has large rural and urban populations totalling around two million people, with 6.7% from a minority ethnic background. Critical infrastructure includes major ports and refineries, and the cities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester lie within the policing area. By April 2016 the force will have 2,857 officers, 1818 staff, and 334 police community support officers. 94.6% of officers are frontline. Public engagement is good, with a wide range of digital channels, and latest figures show 83.0% of victims are satisfied with their service. In April 2015 the force introduced an innovative new operating model with public protection and offender management integrated into the Prevention and Neighbourhoods team. 5.74% of the workforce now works in public protection compared with 4.87% in 2010.

Hampshire Constabulary’s collaboration with Thames Valley Police (TVP) includes roads policing, firearms and public order. The forces are together developing ambitious plans around digital technology and IT capability. Hampshire Constabulary is the first police force in the world to commit to equipping all frontline officers with body worn video technology improving public confidence and reducing certain crime types.

Disclaimer: the above statement has been prepared by Hampshire Constabulary. The views and information in it are not necessarily those of HMICFRS.

HMIC says...

Hampshire Constabulary provides policing services to the county of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The police force area covers 1,602 square miles with approximately 230 miles of coastline in the south of England. Although there are some areas of deprivation, Hampshire has areas of marked affluence. Around 1.9 million people mainly live in the urban centres which include the cities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester, the towns of Basingstoke and Farnborough as well as the town of Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The population is increased by university students and the large numbers who visit, socialise, or travel through the area each year. The transport infrastructure also includes major rail stations, an airport and major sea ports.

England and Wales is made up of over 181,000 small areas known as census output areas (OAs). These have been defined by the Office for National Statistics to group together people with similar characteristics and to include, on average, 125 households. The size of the geographical area covered by each OA varies according to the population density in different parts of the country. The largest OA in England and Wales covers 20,166 hectares, and the smallest less than 0.02 hectares. A football pitch is approximately 0.75 of a hectare.

There are 6,136 OAs in Hampshire with an average size of 68 hectares which is smaller than the national average of 87 hectares. While the majority (68 percent) of OAs in Hampshire are relatively small at under 10 hectares, a smaller proportion (10 percent) are extremely large in size (over 100 hectares) indicating the mixture of urban and rural localities. The smallest OAs are concentrated in Southampton, Portsmouth and the other towns of Hampshire with the largest spread across the more sparsely populated rural areas.

The advantage of analysis at output area level is that it supports a people-centred approach. Differences in the socio-economic characteristics of people who live in different OAs lead to different behaviours, including the use of public services. These differences are reflected in the information that is collected in large data sets such as the census, the Ordnance Survey (OS) point of interest data and other quasi-economic sources that have been used in this analysis.

HMIC has been working with the London School of Economics to use econometric techniques to statistically model and predict the level of reactive demands for police services in each OA in England and Wales. Using police incident data and several thousand characteristics (variables) drawn from the census data, OS point of interest data and other smaller data sets for each OA, it has been possible to predict the number of incidents for each OA and determine how challenging each OA is likely to be to police. We have also used the house prices from the Land Registry as a proxy indicator of wealth. Hampshire has a median house price of £233,229 which is lower than the median of England and Wales (£254,549). Excluding the least expensive ten percent and the most expensive ten percent of house prices, there is a 98 percent difference between low and high prices within the force area, suggesting that there are both areas of affluence and poverty.

The predicted number of incidents for each OA varies considerably. In Hampshire, one percent of the OAs accounts for 12 percent of the predicted demands for police services – this is 0.3 percent of the total force area.

A concentration of predicted demands in a small number of OAs is a feature of every police force. We have designated these OAs (approximately 1,800 throughout England and Wales) as a very high challenge to police. These areas of very high challenge are characterised by social deprivation or a concentration of commercial premises (including licensed premises), and in some cases both.
Within Hampshire:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is broadly in line with the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of anti-social behaviour is broadly in line with the national level of one percent; and
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance is broadly in line with the national level of one percent.

As an indication of the challenge for the police to reach citizens in all parts of Hampshire we calculated the average travel time and distance from the central point of the force area to the centre of each of the 6,136 OAs. These calculations of distance and time are based on using the road network under normal driving conditions and speeds, and indicate the size of the area and the quality of its road network.

Hampshire has 278 miles of motorways and trunk roads; the average travel distance of 17 miles (longest 46 miles and shortest 0.5 miles) and the average travel time of 29 minutes are in line with the respective national averages of 17 miles and 30 minutes. This demonstrates the size of Hampshire and the nature of its roads.

While the concentration of demands in a small number of locations (covering a very small area) may be helpful in focusing resources, it is not the totality of demand. The provision of services extends beyond those areas that are a very high challenge to police and includes the least challenging and most remote areas. The challenge of providing services throughout Hampshire is a function of many things including the size and topography of the area, the road network and how congested the roads are. These considerations influence how police resources are organised and managed – for example, where police officers are based and their working patterns.