Hampshire’s top cop has received over £200,000 in pay and benefits last year – more than the £150,000 salary of the Prime Minister – while earlier this year Hampshire Constabulary closed Eastleigh Police Station’s front office to the public as part of cost saving measures.
An investigation by the Daily Mail has revealed that Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney is one of 12 of the UK’s police force chiefs who earn annual pay and benefit packages worth over £200,000.
The revelation coincides with the news that the police precept in council tax will increase by an extra £24 per household next year – Police Commissioner Michael Lane says this, combined with an increase in the government grant, will help fund more officers.
Chief Constable Pinkney, was appointed in 2016 on a starting salary of £141,599, rising annually to reach a base salary of £173,065 by 2020. According to a Daily Mail report into Chief Constable’s remuneration packages she also received a £34,356 pension contribution in 2017/18 and £3,266 in benefits in kind over the past two years taking her total pay deal last year to £201,743.
Since 2011 Hampshire Constabulary has been embarked on a programme of 33 station closures as part of a cost cutting strategy. In 2012 Hedge End police station was closed to residents who were advised to travel to Eastleigh if they wanted to speak to an officer in person – while earlier this year the public access to officers at Eastleigh was also withdrawn and residents advised to travel to Portswood.
Level of crime a factor in determining pay
It is the Police and Crime Commissioner who is responsible for setting the Chief Constable’s pay and in a statement to the Portsmouth Newspaper The News Commissioner Michael Lane’s spokesperson said:
‘PCCs have the ability to set their chief constable’s salary at up to 10 per cent above or below the rate determined by the Home Office.
The rate takes into account the size of the force and level of crime demand.
Ms Pinkney’s starting salary was set at 10 per cent below the Home Office rate, rising gradually over the term of her contract subject to satisfactory performance.
Any increase also includes the general increase in pay to offset rising costs of living, which was agreed for all police officers.’