Police will use library to bring crooks to book

Portsmouth Crown Court in Winston Churchill Avenue

Horndean paedophile sexually abused children as young as five

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POLICE will next week open an office in a library.

Residents will now be able to sit down and have a chat with officers at Leigh Park Library, in Park Parade.

The new office, set to be unveiled next Tuesday, is not being geared towards dealing with serious crimes.

But it will be used for advice and support and to gather intelligence for the force.

It comes after local bobbies reported that many Leigh Park residents were reluctant to go to Havant or Waterlooville police stations to report crimes as they do not think the incidents were serious enough.

Officers say being in the library will enable them to give practical advice and encourage people to report a crime there and then if it needs investigating.

Sergeant Richard Thompson, who looks after the Safer Neighbourhood Team in Battins ward, Leigh Park, said: ‘The main reason for the office is to give members of the public another avenue of making contact and engaging with police.

‘There are many that don’t like to go into police stations as sometimes they feel their questions are not relevant or serious enough.

‘By working regularly from the library this gives the option for both young and old, along with members of the community that would not necessarily come and see us, have an informal route to come and engage.

‘The use of the office and rest facilities will mean officers will not have to pop back to the station so often for comfort and refreshment breaks and will keep us central and on patch.’

It is planned to open the office, which will be manned mainly by Police Community Support Officers, at least twice a week.

Sgt Thompson added: ‘We are there to allow people to come and give information and just talk generally without them feeling they are a burden.

‘We also want them to tell us what their priorities are, encourage and promote neighbourhood watch, and discuss anything they feel is important, and signposting them to the appropriate agencies that can help.’

Community Support Officers from Hampshire County Council are also planning to man the office for the reporting of fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.