Emergency services put on a show in Havant

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

  • Firefighters, police and ambulance volunteers show off kit
  • Mayor of Havant hails event as huge success
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EMERGENCY services descended on a shopping centre to meet members of the public.

Sunshine and sirens were enjoyed by thousands of people at the second annual Havant emergency services day on Saturday.

Andreea Tudor paints the face of Ruby Grady (5). ''Picture Allan Hutchings PPP-150516-205412006

Andreea Tudor paints the face of Ruby Grady (5). ''Picture Allan Hutchings PPP-150516-205412006

Police officers, firefighters, volunteers from St John Ambulance, the RLNI and many more filled the Greywell Shopping Centre, in Leigh Park.

Members of the services were on hand to answer any questions residents had, showing them the ins and outs of their vehicles and equipment.

The day was run by Havant police sergeant Garry Smith, who has been instrumental in integrating his own police force into the community.

Sgt Smith said: ‘It is about seeing a different side to the services, breaking down boundaries between the people and us.

‘We’ve had a huge increase in footfall compared to last year, so it not only gives us more exposure, but brings more people to the local businesses and awareness of the different groups on offer.

‘Our key work is the prevention of crime in our area, so any bridges that we can build in our community through days like this are going to be a huge success.’

Proof of this bridge-building was clear, with young offenders on hand to give back to their community, helping the charity Big World Impact set up for the day.

One young offender said he was unaware of just how much the police do for the people of Havant.

Big World Impact community engagement co-ordinator, Charlotte Bishop said: ‘We have always worked closely with the police and it is an opportunity to give young people a chance to try something a little more creative.

‘We have only been going for roughly a year, so events like this are great for us as we get to meet more young people and see how we can support them in the community.’

Opening the day was newly-appointed Mayor of Havant, Councillor Leah Turner, who was introduced to all the different service members and volunteers.

Cllr Turner said these days are pivotal to be able to put a face to the officers who are their to serve and protect them. ‘The police are a very important part of any community, these days give the opportunity for the public to see that,’ she said.

‘This being only the second year I think it has been a great success.’