|Common name||Hampshire Police|
|Logo of the Hampshire Constabulary|
|Preceding agency||Basingstoke Borough Police, Romsey Borough Police, Lymington Borough Police, Andover Borough Police, Portsmouth City Police, Southampton City Police & Isle of Wight County Constabulary|
|Annual budget||£281.9 million|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||Police area of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in the country of England, UK|
|Map of police area|
|Size||1,613 sq miles|
|Population||1.9 million (2010/2011)|
|Legal jurisdiction||England & Wales|
|Constituting instrument||Police Act 1996|
|Overviewed by||Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Independent Police Complaints Commission|
|Headquarters||West Hill, Winchester, England, UK|
|Police and Crime Commissioner responsible||Simon Hayes|
|Operational Command Units||5|
|Airbases||1 - RAF Odiham (Operated by South East Air Support Unit)|
|Helicopters||3 (operated by South East Air Support Unit)|
|* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The force area includes the historic city of Winchester, and the largest city in South East England of Southampton and the naval city of Portsmouth. The force also covers the New Forest National Park, sections of the South Downs National Park, and large towns such as Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Andover, Fareham and Aldershot. The constabulary, as it is currently constituted, dates from 1967 but modern policing in Hampshire can be traced back to 1832.
Police headquarters occupy a tall, post-war office building located on West Hill, Winchester which is visible from most approaches to the city, and sits on the site of the first county headquarters, built in 1847. The force's central administration is based here together with the Chief Constable and staff officers.
Plans have been announced for most headquarters-based departments to be relocated to the Support Headquarters at Netley, Southampton. It is intended that the senior management team will, in turn, move to Mottisfont Court, Winchester and the current headquarters building will be sold by 2014. As a result of budget cuts plans to construct a new headquarters and command complex on the northern outskirts of Southampton have been shelved.
The need to reduce costs has seen the formation of a Joint Operations Unit with Thames Valley Police which, during the course of 2012, will see the amalgamation of Roads Policing Units, Training, Firearms and Dog Units of the two forces. The IT departments of the forces merged in early 2011.
- 1 Senior Management Team
- 2 History
- 3 Organisation
- 3.1 Eastern Area
- 3.2 Western Area
- 3.3 Northern Area
- 3.4 Headquarters
- 3.5 Operations OCU
- 3.6 Crime OCU
- 3.7 Joint Operations Unit
- 3.8 Other Policing Initiatives
- 4 Uniform, Equipment & Vehicles
- 5 Strength and recruitment
- 6 Future of Hampshire Constabulary
- 7 Performance
- 8 In the media
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
- 12 Sources
Senior Management Team
The senior team, each of whom is a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers, is as follows:
- Chief Constable (CC):- Andy Marsh
- Deputy Chief Constable (DCC):- Laura Nicholson (acting)
- Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Territorial Operations:- Laura Nicholson
- Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Crime and Criminal Justice: Nigel Hindle (acting)
- Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Human Resource and Operations: Steve Dann
- Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Joint Operations: John Campbell (Shared appointment with Thames Valley Police)
- Director of Finance and Resources:- Michael Coombes
The first fully constituted police force formed in Hampshire was the Winchester City Police, founded in 1832. The Hampshire County Constabulary was established seven years later in 1839 as a result of the passing of the County Police Act that year. Initially the force had a chief constable and two superintendents one of whom was based in Winchester, and the second based on the Isle of Wight which the Hampshire force then incorporated. The first separate police force on the island was formed in 1837 when the Newport Borough Police was established. but the separate Isle of Wight Constabulary was not formed until 1890 when the island was the granted administrative county status.
During the 19th century, Hampshire County Constabulary absorbed various borough forces including Basingstoke Borough Police (1836–1889), Romsey Borough Police (1836–1865), Lymington Borough Police (1836–1852) and Andover Borough Police (1836–1846).
In 1943, during the Second World War, as a result of the passing into law of the Defence (Amalgamation of Police Forces) Regulations 1942, Hampshire County Constabulary amalgamated with the Isle of Wight and Winchester City Police forces to form the Hampshire Joint Police Force. The two city forces, Southampton City Police and Portsmouth City Police, remained independent. Although this arrangement was originally intended only as a wartime measure it continued after hostilities ended and in 1948 the merger was regularised and made permanent and Hampshire Joint Police Force was renamed Hampshire Constabulary.
The name was changed once again in 1952, to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary. In 1967 Hampshire, and the city forces (Southampton and Portsmouth) were amalgamated, as a result of the reforming Police Act 1964, and became the current Hampshire Constabulary. In 1974, the Local Government Act lead to a number of local government boundary changes and saw responsibility for the policing of Christchurch moved to the control of Dorset Police. With the exception of some minor boundary changes since, the force area has remained the unchanged.
The names of forces that have policed the counties of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since the nineteenth century are illustrated below:
In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,346 and an actual strength of 1,137.
Previous Chief Constables
- 1839–1842 - Captain George Robbins
- 1842–1856 - Captain William C. Harris CB
- 1856–1891 - Captain John Henry Forrest
- 1891–1893 - Captain Peregrine Henry Thomas Fellowes (killed on duty)
- 1894–1928 - Major St Andrew Bruce Warde
- 1928–1942 - Major Ernest Radcliffe Cockburn
- 1942–1962 - Sir Richard Dawnay Lemon CBE QPM
- 1962–1977 - Sir Douglas Osmond CBE OStJ QPM DL
- 1977–1988 - Sir John Duke CBE QPM
- 1988–1999 - Sir John Hoddinott CBE QPM MA FRSA DL
- 1999–2008 - Paul Kernaghan QPM
- 2008–2013 - Alex Marshall QPM
- 2013–present - Andy Marsh 
- 1893 - Chief Constable Peregrine Fellowes, a former Assistant Adjutant General of Australia, who had been in office for less than two years, is fatally injured in Romsey Road, Winchester - outside police headquarters - when, together with other officers, he attempts to stop a runaway horse and trap. Crushed against a wall he dies several days later from his injuries and is later buried in the Fellowes family plot at Westhill Cemetery, Winchester. Possibly the only example, nationally, of a Chief Constable being killed on duty.
- 1914 - In Andover, the imprisonment of a mother and daughter sparks rioting involving crowds of up to two thousand people. Local officers seek the assistance of the fire brigade who are pelted with stones and retreat to their station. The arrival of mounted officers from Basingstoke fails to quell the disturbances and only after three days do extra officers drafted in from other stations bring the disorder to an end.
- 1929 - Hampshire Constabulary acquires its first motorised patrol vehicle - a BSA motorcycle combination.
- 1970 - The Isle of Wight Festival takes place at Afton Down attracting huge crowds, estimates varying from five to six hundred thousand, who witness what would be the last UK performance by Jimi Hendrix - he is to die less than three weeks later. Despite the great numbers of people the atmosphere is relaxed and with only 500 officers to police the event the Chief Constable, Sir Douglas Osmond, dons casual clothes and sits with the crowds. He reports to the subsequent public enquiry that the press seem unhappy that it had been so peaceful.
- 1972 - A car bomb, containing approximately 130 kg of explosive, detonates outside the officer's mess at the 16th Parachute Brigade Headquarters in Aldershot. Seven civilians die and nineteen others are seriously injured. The Official Irish Republican Army claim responsibility for the blast the following day. A major criminal enquiry, led personally by Det. Ch. Supt. Cyril Holdaway, then head of the force's CID, succeeds in identifying the bombers and the three are sentenced at Winchester Crown Court later the same year.
- 1982 - Havant Policing Scheme, pioneered by then Chief Constable John Duke, emphasizes the need for linking communication technology with beat officers.
- 1984–1985 - The Miners' Strike. Along with other forces Hampshire contribute officers, under the umbrella of "mutual aid" to police large picket lines supporting the miners' strike. Hampshire officers are the first to be flown into the strike areas.
- 1985 - The force aircraft, an Optica, crashes on the outskirts of Ringwood killing the crew - PC Gerry Spencer (pilot) and DC Malcolm Wiltshire (observer).
- 2006 - On 15 May Hampshire Constabulary launches the new single, non-emergency telephone number (SNEN), 101, as an alternative to 999. It is intended for reporting less serious or anti-social offences.
- 2010 - On 13 February twelve people are seriously injured outside St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton during clashes between rival supporters of Southampton FC & Portsmouth FC playing a South Coast Derby football match.
- 2011 - On 22 May the force seeks assistance from Marwell Wildlife Park, near Winchester when it receives reports of the sighting of what is believed to be a white tiger seen in undergrowth in the Hedge End area of Southampton. The tiger turns out to be a life-size cuddly toy.
- 2011 - During the 2011 England riots, Hampshire is the fourth UK Police force, after Thames Valley, Essex, Bedfordshire and City of London Police, to supply ten Force Support Units to the Metropolitan Police to assist in maintaining order in the capital. In Hampshire, individuals on some social-media sites attempt to incite public disorder, mainly in Southampton, but this is prevented by the police encouraging shops to close early and placing over five hundred officers in Southampton City Centre
To further reduce costs, the force announced plans to merge its six territorially based, local policing divisions known as Operational Command Units (OCUs) into three areas, each of which will be made up of a number of districts. In addition, fewer stations will maintain public enquiry offices which will open for limited hours that will vary from station to station. Stations retaining a public enquiry office are marked thus: †
- Fareham & Gosport
- Isle of Wight
- Eastleigh & Romsey
- New Forest
- Winchester & East Hampshire
- Basingstoke & Deane
- Hart & Rushmoor
- Police HQ - Winchester
- Southern Support & Training HQ - Netley (nr. Southampton)
Roads Policing Unit
The Roads Policing Unit patrol some 220 miles of motorway and trunk roads in the two counties. This is made up of large sections of the M3, all of the M27, the M271 & the M275 together with parts of the A3, A27, A31, A34 and A303.
In addition to providing an emergency response to incidents on the road its work is directed towards reducing casualties and offending and in particular at disrupting the activities of travelling criminals.
The unit operates from 3 bases;- Fratton (near the M275 and M27), Totton (near the M271 and M27) and Basingstoke (near the M3 & A34).
As part of the programme of sharing resources (and thereby reducing costs) agreed between the two forces in late 2010, Hampshire's Roads Policing Unit commenced joint operations with Thames Valley Police's RPU in January 2012. The combined unit is overseen by the Joint Operations Unit.
Dog & Search Support Unit
Hampshire Constabulary acquired its first two dogs in 1959. The force now has a variety of dogs in use across the two counties, working 24-hours a day. The Unit, based at the Support headquarters at Netley, near Southampton, is headed by an Inspector, two Sergeants, twenty-six Constables and several civilian staff. Dogs are trained in a variety of skills including passive drug searching, searches for firearms, explosives, ammunition, and currency. The dogs are also trained to locate people in a variety of situations. For example, they are able to find people who are trapped in collapsed buildings.
Tactical Firearms Support Unit
Hampshire's Firearms Support Unit provides suitably trained and equipped officers to respond to incidents involving the criminal use of firearms through its armed response vehicles and tactical teams. It has a permanent staff of instructors, administrators and the Force Armourer, who is responsible for the safe storage, maintenance and record keeping for each of the force's firearms.
The force's first full-time, permanent firearms unit is to be launched in 2013. This will be the first of its kind in the UK.
The Marine Unit provides a specialist resource to the force and a policing presence along the 253 miles of navigable coastline of the two counties. In addition, the unit is responsible for the investigation of marine incidents and supporting the work of the UK Border Agency, HM Coastguard and the harbour authorities. The unit comprises a Sergeant and twelve Constables and has two tactical rigid inflatables, two semi-displacement patrol launches and various land-based patrol vehicles. The ribs and launches are:
- Police Launch Commander, a 12m catamaran
- Police Launch Preventer, an 11m launch
- Police RIB Protector, a 7.8m tactical RIB
- Police RIB Pursuer, a 7.8, tactical RIB.
Air Support Unit
Air support in the two counties is provided by the South East Air Support Unit, a consortium established to provide police aviation for Sussex Police, Surrey Police and Hampshire Constabulary. Formed in October 2010, it is based in Hampshire and West Sussex. The unit operates two EC135 Eurocopter's & one Britten-Norman Islander.
In addition to the above the Operations OCU also incorporates the Planning and Policy Unit and the Critical Incident Cadre - designed to provide tactical support in the event of any major incident within the force area.
The Crime OCU is made up of a number of specialist CID units including the force Intelligence Directorate, Scientific Services, Special Branch and both the Serious Organised Crime and Major Crime departments. In addition to their specialist roles these departments support territorially deployed CID officers of the South Eastern CID Department, South Western CID Department & Northern & Central CID Department
Arson Task Force
The Arson Task Force (ATF) was formed in 2007 as a collaboration between Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. The unit conducts investigations into incidents of deliberate fire setting and all serious fires across Hampshire.
Joint Operations Unit
The unit, currently based in Hampshire (headed by a Chief Superintendent but over seen by the Joint ACC John Campbell) was established to manage the agreement put in place between Hampshire and Thames Valley Police in November 2010 intended to share common resources and thereby reduce costs. The agreement (under the provisions of s. 23 Police Act 1996) allows the forces to operate joint units and is initially aimed at a merging of Roads Policing Units, Firearms and Dog Units, and Training departments. The IT departments of the two forces formally merged in February 2011.
The Roads Policing Units of the forces merged at the end of January 2012 and the remaining mergers will be completed with the final amalgamation, of the firearms units, following the 2012 Olympics.
Other Policing Initiatives
In an effort to maintain equine-oriented crime at low levels, the force supports a Horsewatch programme to raise awareness of crime, including the theft of animals, equipment and vehicles. The force's Equine Liaison Officers who liaise with the equine community perform their duties voluntarily.
CountryWatch is continuing programme of policing operations with the objective of tackling crime in the rural communitiese such as theft, poaching, fly-tipping and the use of nuisance vehicles. The programme promotes reassurance and communication, particularly between rural and neighbourhood officers. ACC Laura Nicholson is the national ACPO-lead, for CountryWatch.
This initiative is driven primarily by the Marine Support Unit and is aimed at raising appreciation and awareness of marine-based crime amongst the owners and users of the estimated fifty-thousand boats moored within the force area.
Uniform, Equipment & Vehicles
Male constables and sergeants of Hampshire Constabulary wear the traditional comb-style custodian helmet when on foot patrol. However, Hampshire is one of only three other UK forces that does not use the common Brunswick star style force badge, favouring instead a large metal plate that mirrors the county crest, depicting a laurel wreath enclosing a crowned rose above a banner that reads 'Hampshire'.
The helmets worn by constables have larger helmet plates of uncoloured white metal whilst those worn by sergeants have slightly smaller helmet plates that includes blue and red enamelled detail on the crown, rose and county title. The helmet plate worn by constables is the largest of all those worn by forces in England and Wales and ensures that they stand out in the company of officers from other areas.
Officers wear a peaked cap with black and white chequered hat band when on mobile patrol in vehicles whilst Roads Policing Unit (RPU) officers wear a similar cap with a white top. Female officers wear a bowler hat (with black and white chequered hat band), or a similar bowler hat for female RPU officers but with a white top. PCSO's wear peaked caps with a blue hat band. Each of these caps have smaller versions of the helmet plate.
Officers holding the rank of Inspector or above wear peaked caps.
When on duty officers wear a black, wicking t-shirt with the word 'Police' on the sleeves, and black uniform trousers. Hampshire officers no longer use the traditional police jumper, having favoured a black fleece with 'Police' written on the chest and back. Hampshire officers do not have Brunswick stars on their epaulettes, just the rank and collar number. PCSOs wear a similar uniform, however instead of a black, wicking shirt they wear blue polo shirts.
Formal dress comprises an open-necked tunic, with white shirt/blouse and tie/cravat. Constables and Sergeants wear custodian helmet's and collar numbers on their epaulettes, officers above these ranks wear peaked caps, name badges and their rank on their epaulettes. The No.1 uniform is accompanied by black boots or shoes and occasionally black gloves, or brown gloves for the rank of Inspector and above.
Hampshire Constabulary officers are required to wear a stab vest whilst on patrol. Currently, Hampshire officers wear high visibility yellow vests but these have proved unsuccessful and are to be phased out in favour of returning to the previous style in black. In addition, officers carry TETRA digital radios, HTC PDAs, Hiatt rigid handcuffs, CS incapacitant gas, the ASP 21" collapsible baton, leg restraints, a resuscitation mask and a basic first aid kit. PCSO's do not carry ASPs, handcuffs, leg restraints or incapacitant spray. Should the need arise, some officers can use body-mounted cameras. Police vehicles may contain a variety of equipment, which can include Arnold batons, traffic cones, road signs, breathalyzers, stingers, speed guns and the like.
Vehicles and livery
Hampshire Constabulary uses a selection of vehicles for their individual capabilities and the requirements of the roles for which they are employed.
- Ford Fiesta - Neighborhood Patrol Vehicle (120 vehicles)
- Ford Focus - Response vehicle (200 vehicles)
- Ford Mondeo - Area Car / Dog Unit (100 vehicles)
- Volvo XC70 - Rural Area Car (50 vehicles)
- Ford Transit - Station Van / Investigation Unit / Mobile Police Station / Search & Rescue Unit (80 vehicles)
- Ford Transit Connect - Forensic Sciences Investigation Unit (10 vehicles)
- Mercedes Sprinter - Force Support Unit / Prisoner Transportation Vehicle (80 vehicles)
- BMW X5 - Armed Response Vehicle (50 vehicles)
- Škoda Octavia VRS -Unmarked Roads Policing Unit (20 vehicles)
- BMW 530d - Roads Policing Unit (50 vehicles)
- BMW X5 - Roads Policing Unit (20 vehicles)
- Honda Pan-European Motorcycle - Road Policing Unit and Escort Vehicle (40 vehicles)
- Nissan Navara - Rural Policing Vehicle (20 vehicles)
- Skoda Octavia - OCU Response Vehicle (35 vehicles)
- BMW 330d - Fast Response Unit (40 vehicles)
- Land Rover Tangi - Public Disorder Unit (15 vehicles)
Hampshire Constabulary currently use the standard yellow and blue retro-reflective Battenberg markings, together with the force crest on the bonnet, on all marked, operational vehicles.
For many years until 2005, the force had used a distinctive vehicle paint scheme of retro-reflective red and white diagonal stripes above a retro-reflective chequered blue and white band.
Strength and recruitment
Hampshire Constabulary employs over 6,000 people and has over 425 volunteers. Approximately one third of this total are frontline staff and officers.
Hampshire Constabulary is not currently recruiting Constables; PCSOs; officers seeking to transfer from other forces; civilian staff or control room operators as a consequence of budget cuts. Recruitment is currently limited to those posts that fall vacant.
Training for new recruits in Hampshire is conducted at the support headquarters at Netley. For Constables it consists of eight months' training and a two-year probationary period. For PCSOs it consists of 18 weeks' training and a 15-weeks probationary period. For Special Constables it consists of 7 months of training during weeknights and weekends, and a two-year probationary period or less, dependent on the number of tours of duty.
Future of Hampshire Constabulary
In a report published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in July 2011, the impact on the number of police officers and staff partly due to the reduction to Hampshire Constabulary's budget following the comprehensive spending review is as follows:
|Police officers||Police staff||PCSOs||Total|
|31 March 2010 (actual)||3,748||2,424||347||6,519|
|31 March 2015 (proposed)||3,294||1,563||337||5,194|
British Crime Survey
The British Crime Survey for 2009/2010 found that in Hampshire crime had fallen in 5 out of 7 key offences and in one case, 'Theft of a vehicle' had fallen by 27% during the period. The other two key offences had not risen or fallen. Reported crime was slightly below the national average (between -0.28 and -2.84%) Assistant Chief Constable David Pryde called these figures 'very positive for the residents of Hampshire and Isle of Wight'.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
A report from March 2010 by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary marked Hampshire Constabulary as 'Fair' at 'Local crime and policing' and ' Confidence and satisfaction', and 'Good' at 'Protecting from serious harm'. They achieved good and fair marks for all aspects of policing except 'Excellent' at 'Suppressing gun crime' and 'Poor' for 'Comparative satisfaction of BME community'.
Hampshire Constabulary overall 'has a low crime rates and is a comparatively safe place to live'. The force employs slightly less officers and staff than its peer forces, and is therefore slightly cheaper to run, yet has the similar levels of confidence as its peers. Hampshire showed particular strength in 'tackling serious crime'.
Independent Police Complaints Commission
The Professional Standards department of the force investigate the majority of complaints made against police. However, details of complaints received are notified to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which is a non-departmental public body responsible for overseeing the system for handling complaints made against police forces throughout England and Wales. The IPCC may chose to manage or supervise investigations conducted into complaints and may conduct the investigations themselves in the most serious cases. The Commission sets the standards of the investigation of complaints against police and also acts as the appeals body in cases where members of the public are dissatisfied with the way in which a police force has handled their complaint.
In the period April 2011 to December 2011 complaints and allegations made against officers of Hampshire Constabulary had decreased from the previous year (previous years figures in brackets). Hampshire's overall complaints rate of 181 (206) per 1000 employees is slightly above the national average of 172 (159) per 1000 employees. In that period Hampshire were above national average for complaints concerning 'Neglect or Failure in duty' and 'Oppressive Conduct or Harassment'. Of all complaints received during the period 0% (1%) were discontinued - national average 1% - some 5% (3%) were dispensed - national average 7% - and 6% (5%) were withdrawn - national average 10%). Of the total, 13% (11%) of complaints were found to have 'substantiated finding', 3% lower than the national average.
Stonewall Workplace Equality Index
The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is an annual index of UK employers completed by the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) rights charity Stonewall. Through their submissions to Stonewall, Hampshire Constabulary have been consistently high performers on the index since 2006, scoring no lower than 15th place overall and has also been rated as the top UK Police Force since 2007.
|Year||Top 100 Ranking||Top 10 Police Forces|
In the media
The crime fiction writer Graham Hurley draws on his knowledge of Hampshire Constabulary, and in particular Portsmouth CID, for his series of police procedural novels. Set in Portsmouth and revolving around the fictional Detective Inspector Joe Faraday they portray a gritty picture of the city and its crime.
Ruth Rendell's series of crime novels are set in the fictional town of Kingsmarkham. In the books the town is described as being in Sussex, however when the books were televised, Romsey was chosen as the setting for the location filming. Inspector Wexford is often seen wearing a Hampshire Constabulary tie and warrant card badge. Hampshire Constabulary authorised the use of the force logo and have provided props and material for the series.
Hampshire Constabulary has featured in various series of Traffic Cops, an occasional BBC One documentary. The programme focuses on the work of Hampshire's Roads Policing officers and highlights issues relating to road safety and reducing the number of road deaths and serious injuries.
The day-to-day work of Hampshire Constabulary featured in some 69 episodes, spanning three series, of the popular BBC 1 observational documentary, Real Rescues. This series first aired on BBC 1 in October 2007
The three-part, Channel 4 documentary, The Force followed the work of Hampshire detectives during the investigation of three serious crimes in the county. The first episode followed the progress of an enquiry into the murder of a woman whose body had been found in a field near Basingstoke whilst the second revealed the work of Hampshire's dedicated rape unit during a live investigation in Portsmouth. The last programme featured a re-investigation of the arson of a block of flats in Portsmouth as a result of which a young man died.
- Law enforcement in the United Kingdom
- List of law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom
- Table of police forces in the United Kingdom
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- History of Yorkshire Aircraft, 2012 "Squadron Commander Peregrine Fellowes RNAS". Retrieved 2 May 2012
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- Thames Valley Police, 2012 "John Campbell appointed new joint Assistant Chief Constable for Hampshire and Thames Valley". Retrieved 2 May 2012
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- Sales Transformation News, 2012 "Thames Valley and Hampshire police merge IT departments". Retrieved 2 May 2012
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- Official website
- Hampshire Police Authority
- Hampshire Constabulary History Society
- Weeke local history - Hampshire Police HQ
- Hampshire Marine Watch
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