A PETITION has been started by residents to stop a police community support officer from being moved out of their area.
People in Portchester are unhappy with the move of PCSO Dave Earley which would see him shifted to Havant.
The move will take place in the new year and will see some Fareham PCSOs relocated.
Wendy Richardson said: ‘Dave is the one with his finger on the pulse of Portchester.
‘He attends all the local stuff and he gets to know all the children.
‘If he passes you in the village he will raise his hand to you and it’s nice to know that he remembers you.’
The 73-year-old added: ‘He’s a real community-spirited officer.’
In an attempt to stop PCSO Earley being moved Mrs Richardson and her neighbours started the petition which has attracted support from the council.
Councillor for Portchester West Nick Walker said: ‘Moving Dave would be tragic to say the least because he is one of the most visible PCSOs around.
‘He is what I call one of the leading lights in Portchester, known to everybody.
‘They say that crime has gone down in Portchester and I would put it down to Dave. If he goes, it could go back up again.’
Cllr Walker said he fully supports the petition and the rest of the Portchester councillors will too.
‘It needs to be put to whoever is in charge how silly their decisions are sometimes because if you have got to move somebody you wouldn’t move the main man,’ he added.
A police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm a reduction in the number of PCSOs in the Fareham area.
‘However there will still be a policing presence in Portchester, including police officers and PCSOs who are responsible for dealing with any problems.’
A spokesman for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, who determines regional policing policy, added: ‘Residents of Portchester should be reassured that a dedicated PCSO will continue to form part of the neighbourhood policing team.’