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Cops and coffee shop is a big success for police

Sgt Garry  Smith with crime commissioner Simon Hayes

 at the 

Cops and Coffee shop in the Greywell precinct, Leigh Park
Picture: Paul Jacobs (14596-6) PPP-140225-174526001

Sgt Garry Smith with crime commissioner Simon Hayes at the Cops and Coffee shop in the Greywell precinct, Leigh Park Picture: Paul Jacobs (14596-6) PPP-140225-174526001

a police drop-in cafe has been so successful more may be opened elsewhere.

Leigh Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team set up CopsnCoffee in an empty shop in the Greywell Precinct in January.

Officers are based there every other Tuesday and this week Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes visited.

Sergeant Garry Smith said: ‘We had a problem in Leigh Park getting people to tell us what the issues were, and what the police should be doing.

‘We tried various things but they didn’t work.

‘We stood in the public library then we tried having the police CCTV van out.

‘But who wants to stand talking to a police officer next to a van in the pouring rain?

‘We even tried cold calling, going house to house, but we didn’t get an awful lot of response.

‘People were busy making dinner or putting the children to bed.

‘It’s important that we police according to what the community wants and it’s working here.

‘We have had more information and more intelligence and reports than any other neighbourhood police engagement in the past year.’

Officers can react instantly to incidents happening in the area as soon as they are reported, rather than the calls going to the control centre and then through the station at Havant.

Sgt Smith explained: ‘On Monday we were in here putting up posters and a couple of gay chaps came in and told us they had just been the victims of hate crime.

‘We were able to action it straight away.’

When the public isn’t in the coffee shop officers are able to get on with their work remotely using their laptops or go out on patrol.

They are also helped by volunteers who serve the tea and coffee.

Sarah Bower, 22, from Park House Farm Way, popped in with her son.

She said: ‘It’s good because round here we get a lot of problems.

‘It’s nice to know the police are here, it gives you the confidence to shop in the precinct.’

Mr Hayes confirmed that it was so successful that from April 8 it would be open every Tuesday and Saturday and others could be set up in other parts of the county.

He added: ‘It’s exciting. It brings the police into the community and it’s an opportunity for the public to come to talk to the police.’

 

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