New officers to join town’s police force

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Cllr Andy Tree with PS Simeon Poulton (centre) at a public meeting last year ()

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WHITEHILL Town Council played host to East Hampshire’s police force yesterday in a bid to boost relations between the officers and the community.

Before council leader Andy Tree met PS Simeon Poulton and PC Richard Tuner, the council had asked residents if they had any for the officers.

Following yesterday’s meeting, Cllr Tree said he had been told a new Police Community Support Officer had joined the team last year, and an additional Police Constable and community support officer were to join “in the very near future”.

Cllr Tree said he would “very much welcome these additional resources”.

He also shared the responses from the officers to residents’ questions.

The town council previously contributed to a new high-definition CCTV at the Forest Community Centre.

Officers said a suspect for criminal damage had since been identified thanks to that CCTV system, and that officers were working with young offenders through the Youth Offending Team.

Cllr Tree also spoke about young people congregating at the town skatepark, with recent reports on social media raising concerns.

He said: “I have been asking the police and EHDC’s Covid marshals to enforce the skatepark closure and although they cannot be there the whole time, I understand they have patrolled and ejected users over the past week.

“I will continue to ask for enforcement on behalf of residents.”

In answer to questions on police budgets and costing, Cllr Tree added: “Police policy on resources and budget is decided by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“With elections for this role coming up, it is worth looking at candidates to see what they would do for our area and what they stand for.

“Candidates are due to be formally announced in April, although some have already declared.”

Cllr Tree also said the officers had agreed to monthly meetings to address public concerns, including those on social media, but reminded residents all crimes should be reported by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, people can report crime online at www.hampshire.police.uk/ro/report or by contacting Crimestoppers.

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