THIS WEEK IN 1980: Long arm of the law reaches out in friendship with refugees

PC Barry Milne gets to know Vietnamese refugees living temporarily in his patch, Hilsea
PC Barry Milne gets to know Vietnamese refugees living temporarily in his patch, Hilsea
Ken stands in Woodmancote Road, Southsea, where he was narrowly missed being machine gunned by Messerschmitt during the war

NOSTALGIA: The man who was machine-gunned by Germans in war-time Southsea

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Vietnamese refugees who had fled the Communist regime in their homeland found a safe haven at Hilsea.

Spreading the message that ‘the British policeman is your friend’, Hilsea beat ‘bobby’ PC Barry Milne was getting to know the newest residents on his patch – Vietnamese refugees living temporarily at London Road.

Warden at the unit, Ockenden Venture’s Alison Browne, said: ‘The first time PC Milne came in uniform, I could see our Vietnamese families were a little wary but already they can laugh and joke with him.’

Not surprisingly, the refugees were having to learn that if you need help in Britain, then ask a policeman.

One refugee, Tri, told The News: ‘In Vietnam the police carry guns. They are not friends.’

The refugees who would be moving out to homes throughout the county, knew British police rarely used their truncheons.

‘It’s 17 years since I have used mine,’ said PC Milne.

The constable was well-known on Hilsea’s streets and in its schools.

He had explained to the refugee children points such as the dangers of speaking to strangers and ignoring traffic lights.