HUNDREDS of police staff from across Hampshire are set to take part in a 24-hour strike later this month.

UNISON staff members working for Hampshire Constabulary will join colleagues across England and Wales to take to the picket line on January 23, unless a pay deal can be reached with employers.

However, union chiefs are confident that the dispute could be resolved before they stage the strike.

UNISON members in the police service work in jobs such as 999 call takers, police community support officers, scenes of crime officers and a wide range of vital operational and organisational support roles.

The initial strike planned for December 22, last year was suspended to allow further negotiations between the union and the employers.

The suspension also meant that the month-long ban on voluntary overtime was withdrawn.

Caroline Villiers, UNISON regional organiser, said: “Industrial action is a last resort and the initial talks with the employers were encouraging.

“We are hopeful that we can resolve the dispute and avoid any disruption.

“The rules around industrial action mean we have had to call another strike day to ensure we are still able to take strike action should the talks break down.”

UNISON represents 2,172 police staff in Hampshire and Sussex.