East Hampshire council leader’s worry over police closure plans

Police Car / Incident Stock Pic (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150519-172740001

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PLANS to close two East Hampshire police stations have met with concern from a council leader.

Hampshire Constabulary has revealed plans to close 18 stations, including Whitehill and Petersfield, in a bid to save £50m to meet government spending cuts by 2015.

East Hampshire District Council leader, Patrick Burridge, said: ‘I understand the need to save money and recognise the police commitment to continue to provide a professional and responsive service, but I question the logic of closing the Whitehill station.

‘Surely in a garrison town there is always a need for an enhanced police presence? The proposals do come at a time of significantly falling crime rates but even a low level of crime is of concern to residents.

‘It is essential to keep a cap on crime and so we will work closely with the police to identify the best locations to help the Safer Neighbourhoods Teams to keep crime rates falling.’

Anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and the number of crimes caused by children aged 10 to 17 has dropped in East Hampshire the past three years.

A decision will be made by Hampshire Police Authority on June 23.