Calls for public to show support to police officers

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CALLS have been made for more people to publicly show their support for police officers keeping our streets safe.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter made the rallying cry.

It came as specialist Hampshire Constabulary officers were deployed to help the Met in London as they were out in force for a third night running in the wake of days of rioting and looting.

Mr Apter – a serving police officer – said: ‘They really need our support.’

Earlier this week officers from our area were sent to Regent Street, north London and Hackney.

Mr Apter said: ‘I spoke to one officer who was in Hackney. He had been on a 21-hour shift. What may be surprising to some is that despite the cuts on pensions, the low morale and the reduction in budgets, they are keen to get out there and do this job.

‘What’s inspiring them at the moment is the public support. Officers have said to me they don’t care much for support from the prime minister or the home secretary because they know they won’t get that.

‘What they care about is the support of the public.

‘I would urge the public to demonstrate their support by either contacting us or putting messages on The News website, because the officers read it and they are motivated by it – and they need it at the moment.’

Meanwhile, Hampshire Constabulary again appealed for calm across the area. Despite fears of violence flaring, trouble has as yet failed to materialise in Hampshire.

Portsmouth Chief Inspector Richard Taylor said: ‘I’ve been impressed by the response we’ve had from the public. Law-abiding residents and visitors in the city are behaving responsibly and are keen to work with us to prevent problems.’

n A teenager has apologised to the public following his arrest on suspicion of attempting to incite violence online. Police arrested the 18-year-old from Southampton for promoting a Facebook page devoted to rioting in Hampshire. He was held overnight and yesterday released without charge.