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Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney has today announced that she will leave Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabulary in April 2023, after 31 years of police service. She will not be taking up another role within policing.
Chief Constable Pinkney commented: “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.”
This early announcement enables Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones to get on with recruiting a new chief constable. This process will start immediately (7 September) with the aim of making the decision on who the new chief will be by the end of November 2022.
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 2022 until mid-December 2022 (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.
Transition and PCC plans for choosing the next chief constable
Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones, who is leading the recruitment process, commented:
“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.”
More comments from the chief constable on her reason for leaving
In a message sent to police officers, staff and volunteers, Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney stated that she had made the decision in late June saying: “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, Mrs Pinkney 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 Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones, 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.”