Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary has ditched compulsory degrees for new recruits to free up 100,000 hours of policing time per year.

Police and crime commissioner Donna Jones campaigned for an end to the compulsory degree after taking office in May 2021 but could not end degrees in Hampshire until the government scrapped them in November.

Chief Constable Scott Chilton has launched a scheme called Policing PLUS, backed by Ms Jones, which allows new recruits to join the force by a non-degree path and lets those already on the degree scheme transfer to the new route.

Ms Jones said: “The compulsory police degree has put off a number of highly-skilled men and women who would make brilliant police officers. Giving people a choice whether to complete a police degree or not is the right thing to do. It’s more equal and will appeal to more diverse communities.”