THE new police and crime commissioner was given a grilling by members of the public when he attended the Safer Gosport Community Day.
Simon Hayes spent two hours in and around Gosport’s civic offices, talking to people who wanted to ask him about various aspects of policing, his role and to find out who he is and what he does.
The event, which ran from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, saw hundreds of people take advantage of the chance to not only ask the commissioner questions, but also get their bikes postcoded and speak to other groups such as Neighbourhood Watch, street pastors, Two Saints, First Wessex and the emergency services.
Mr Hayes said: ‘It was been a good opportunity to meet the public and to understand about the safer Gosport partnership.
‘People are interested in my role and what this animal is and what it does.
‘People have raised specific issues with me that they would like me to look into. They have also expressed concern about policing in general – the number of officers on the street, the funding available for officers in Gosport and across the Hampshire what my priorities are into the future.’
Retired Toby James of The Lane in Alverstoke went along to see Mr Hayes, and said: ‘There were several things I wanted to ask him.
‘I wanted to ask about the way we deal with alcoholics and the way they make a nuisance of themselves.
‘They are responsible human beings but if they start costing the community money, they should be made to pay it themselves – a night in the cells costs money, treatment in the hospital costs money, and that costs us.’
Alex Norman, 62, of Bury Way in Gosport, spoke to him about food poverty and faith issues.
Mr Norman said: ‘I’m part of the leadership team at my church and we want to create a more effective approach to working with our local authorities.
‘I warmed to the commissioner and he told me that he is planning to meet with faith groups later in the year.’
Kathryn Millar from Monkton Road in Alverstoke, took her three children and said: ‘We think it’s important to support the community.’
Cllr Jon Beavis, chairman of the Gosport community safety partnership, said: ‘The reason we do these is to engage with the community and them telling us what’s concerning them in community safety. And by listening to what they say, we can take the necessary actions to change things.’