More about this area

The logo of Hampshire Constabulary

The force says...

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

Some 64% of Hampshire Constabulary’s £305m budget comes from the national government grant. The force employees 5,000 people, having reduced its workforce by 23%, against a national average of 15%. Some £80m of efficiency has been delivered since 2010, and the force was graded ‘outstanding’ for short and long term financial sustainability in 2015, and in 2016 was recognised as having good plans to address future demand on services.

The force has chosen an operating model that retains a strong neighbourhood policing footprint and has a higher than average proportion of officers in frontline roles.  Back office functions (HR/finance) are shared with Hampshire’s council and fire services, a number of neighbourhood policing teams are located with councils, there is a well-developed collaboration with Thames Valley Police, and close working with criminal justice partners. Other innovation includes an award winning forensics partnership with Portsmouth University.

Partnerships are being further developed as the force adopts modern approaches to cyber-crime and the increase in reporting of crimes such as child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse. The force was the first to issue body worn video to all frontline officers and has been recognised for understanding demand on its services. It is building its future plans from this analysis.

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 2 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, based on the OAs that have had a property transaction within the last 12 months, of £262,492 which is higher than the median of England and Wales (£230,358). Hampshire has 0.7 percent of its OAs within the lowest 10 percent of house prices nationally, while 28.4 percent of OAs are within the top 10% of house prices nationally (and 9.8 percent of OAs are within the top 1 percent). This suggests that there are large areas of acute affluence and high house prices, with a very small proportion of lower value housing and deprivation.

The demands for police services are not the same in every area of England and Wales.  Our analysis has revealed that the socio-demographic characteristics of an area influence the demands for police services in that area.

In every police force, there is a concentration of predicted demands in a small number of its OAs. Taking England and Wales as a whole the most challenging 1,811 (1 percent) of these account for 10.8 percent of all the predicted incidents.  We have designated these areas of very high challenge and found that they are characterised by a high concentration of people living, working, socialising or travelling in the area. Features which both cause and/or indicated a concentration of people include the number of commercial premises, including licensed premises, fast food premises, public transport and social deprivation.  In some areas, these features are in combination.

Some 2.2 percent of the very high challenge areas nationally are in Hampshire. The highest challenge one percent of OAs in the force account for 6.2 percent of Hampshire’s predicted incidents, these predicted demands are likely to occur in only 2.6 percent of the total area of the force.

Within Hampshire:

  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of incidents is lower than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are a very high challenge to police based on the predicted level of crime is lower than 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 lower than the national level of one percent;
  • the proportion of OAs that are very high challenge to police for the predicted level of emergency and priority calls for assistance at incidents is lower than 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 at crimes 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 176 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 from the centre of the force to each OA 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.