Fareham councillor raises concerns on lack of police resources for area

A COUNCILLOR has expressed '˜serious concern' after a lack of police resources for part of Fareham was revealed.

Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:45 pm
An 11-strong neighbourhood policing team in Fareham West has to share one car

A tweet from the @FarehamPolice account said the Fareham West neighbourhood team has one vehicle to cater for the 11-strong team.

Officers cover from Burridge to Lower Swanwick down to Warsash and then across to Stubbington.

The post read: ‘Unfortunately, we only have one vehicle for us in the neighbourhood team covering Fareham West (Swanwick > Stubbington).’

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Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council said while the figure was at first glance ‘startling’ he has been reassured that the neighbourhood team is designed to respond to ‘community incidents’ and not ‘high-priority crime incidents’ which are monitored by area patrols.

He said: ‘I’ve been told that the neighbourhood team is purely used to deal with community concerns, rather than high-priority incidents, such as murders or rapes.

‘It is, of course, a concern, giving the allocated area that we are in a position where we have only one car to deal with such a large radius.’

Cllr Peter Davies, who represents Fareham North West on the borough council said: ‘I am seriously concerned to hear about this.

‘This is a very large area and we must always get responses from the police.

‘This is a big issue as our residents deserve to know whether the police are likely to respond to incidents.

‘There previously used to be a lot of police on our streets but sadly this appears to have become a rare sight.

‘There must always be a response from our officers as there will always be incidents, particularly at night, in which the community will be concerned and the police need to respond to them.

‘If there is only one car to serve an incident, how will they manage if there’s more than one at once?’

The borough is also served by the Fareham and Portchester neighbourhood teams.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘The effectiveness of policing depends not just on local officers in communities who can deal with ongoing neighbourhood issues, building trust and confidence. It also requires response and patrol officers who work across different districts to ensure the safety of the public in the event of an emergency and have access to the vehicles they need, as well as officers working in public protection roles to safeguard vulnerable people, crime investigators, and a number of other specialists. We are confident that we have the right resources in the right places across the whole of Hampshire in order to offer the best possible policing to everyone who might need us.’

The spokeswoman confirmed there were 11 officers in the Fareham West neighbourhood team, but that other departments such the road policing unit cover the area when necessary.

She said that Fareham West’s neighbourhood team has six bikes between them.