We need police to be more visible

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A fixed-odds gambling machine Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

NEWS COMMENT: A move in the right direction but still not a win for all

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I read in The News that Southsea Library could be used as a police base. What a brilliant idea.

With the closure of Southsea Police Station, the office space above the new, rather fabulous library would make a fantastic home for six community officers.

We need our police to be more visible. Officers ought to be on the streets where we can see and speak to them. So hopefully the library idea will happen.

The police are so inaccessible these days, riding around the city in cars and vans.

A couple of weeks ago I was enjoying a coffee and chat outside Cha Chas in Palmerston Road, Southsea when three boys in blue arrived on their bicycles.

One said: ‘Hello Heather.’

My amazed girliepal commented: ‘Blimey, do the police still talk to you after what you’ve written about them in your column over the years?’

Yes, of course they do. Because they know I have the highest regard for our policemen and women. They do a fantastic job.

Would you want to deal with some of the lamebrains they have to sort out? My truncheon would be out all the time, dear.

It’s the system, the paperwork, the cuts and the lack of police presence that I find exasperating.

Last week Operation Nemesis, a crackdown on burglary and theft from vehicles, was launched by Hampshire Constabulary, so it looks like police will be more visible on our streets. Great.

And finally...Miss James needs you, Pompey’s ex-corset factory workers.

Last week I was thrilled to be part of the celebration to open Radian’s new apartment complex in St Mary’s Road on the site of the old Twilfits factory.

For years I’ve been researching the city’s corset industry – in the early 1900s Portsmouth was the corset capital of the world.

So, ladies and gents, I need your corset stories, especially from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Please drop me a line to Heather James c/o The News, News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth PO2 9SX.