Police thank Portsmouth public for their support

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POLICE have praised the public in Portsmouth for their help and support after riots across the country.

There are extra patrols in the city this week to provide reassurance to communities and a swift response to any issues that may arise.

There were no reports of crime in Portsmouth linked to riots across the country last night - and police are working to keep it that way.

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

‘The strong links established with communities by our dedicated local policing teams are so important at times like these to reinforce mutual trust and respect.

‘The continued co-operation of the public is an essential element to ensure there is a combined community effort to keeping our streets safe.

“The support of the Special Constabulary is always appreciated. Many of our volunteers have come in at short notice to strengthen our high visibility patrols. Their commitment in this challenging week shows why our Special Constables are excellent examples of local people who want to play their part in preventing problems in the communities they care about.

‘People are naturally worried by what they have seen or heard in the national media, but my advice to people is please go about your daily lives and business as usual. Do not hesitate to report any concerns to us and we will update you as soon as possible if the situation in Portsmouth changes. ‘

Thugs resorting to scaremongering the public by posting false rumours of trouble in the area on social networking sites are also warned the police will track them down.

Chief Insp Taylor added: ‘Our main concern remains the use of social media sites and networks to spread false and malicious rumours of riots and to encourage violence. Some of this speculation and scaremongering has affected Portsmouth and we’re tracking down those responsible so they are made to realise the consequences of such reckless remarks.

‘If you are publishing messages encouraging violence - you need to know you can expect a visit from the police.

‘We believe that some of these threats are being made by teenagers who may not fully appreciate the implications of what they’re posting online.

‘I would again ask parents specifically to help us prevent unnecessary fears in the community: Know where your children are and what they’re doing online. There are real risks to their own welfare if they become caught up in anti-social behaviour and potential criminal activity through naivety.

‘Police will continue to robustly investigate anyone who is using social network sites to generate or incite violence and disorder.

‘We will also continue using social networking sites to help reassure our communities. The Portsmouth City Centre Unit in particular is receiving positive feedback to its updates on Twitter with its number of followers increasing.’