A pledge to honour and support the Armed Forces community has been made by Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, aboard HMS Victory.
The commitment was co-signed by Lieutenant Commander BJ Smith, Commanding Officer of Lord Nelson’s flagship and the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission.
Mrs Jones was one of the first Police and Crime Commissioner’s offices in the country to sign the Armed Forces Covenant which recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to their communities, the economy, and to society as a whole.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a term that was introduced to refer to the obligations between the UK and His Majesty’s Armed Forces, and is a promise that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
The Commissioner will uphold the principles of the Covenant by promoting support for the Armed Forces and maintain a commitment with the chief constable to make it easier for reservists, ex-service men and women, families of service personnel, and local cadet units to join Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary.
Mrs Jones said: “Hampshire has one of the largest Armed Forces communities in the UK with 20,000 serving military personnel, 60,000 veterans, 4,000 MOD civilians, and 1,200 reservists.
“Signing the Covenant means that as Commissioner, I am making it easier for people who have served Queen and now King, to join Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary.
“The qualities that our military communities have to offer are invaluable and the signing of the Covenant recognises and honours that. Many veterans choose to join the police service after leaving the Armed Forces, and we will continue to support them and their families as they navigate the next step in their careers.
“The Armed Forces communities deserve our respect and fair treatment, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, as an organisation, will continue to support them wherever possible.”
Lieutenant Commander BJ Smith, Commanding Officer of HMS Victory, said: “It is a privilege and honour as the Commanding Officer of HMS Victory to sign on behalf of all our Armed Forces this commitment by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and Isle of Wight, recognising the contribution that serving and veteran military personnel and their families make to the country. “This is the 1291st such commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant made in the South East.”
The OPCC for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight joins thousands of businesses across the country who have pledged their commitment to the Covenant.