Assault victim makes emotional plea at public meeting about crime in Portsmouth

A PACKED meeting on crime north of Portsmouth heard one woman's emotional plea for police to tackle a spate of crimes in the area.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 11:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 1:40 pm

More than 60 residents attended a meeting with councillors and senior police officers at Drayton United Reformed Church, in Havant Road, Drayton on Monday.

One woman received a round of applause after an emotional appeal for the police to address crime in the area, as she detailed being assaulted on her own property.

The Farlington resident, who gave her name as Shannon, said: ‘Five months ago I moved to this area and in that time I have been assaulted by someone I did not know on my own land.

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Residents listen to Cllr Bosher at a meeting on crime in the Drayton and Farlington area.

‘I reported it to 999, and I didn't even get a formal police officer visit me - I got a community support officer.

‘The perpetrator lives right around the corner and he still pursues me.

‘I am having to take measures into my own hands with civil litigation, but it’s costing me thousands of pounds.

‘I moved here from a safer area it seems – I lived there for 20 years, and I was never attacked.’

Inspector John Tilbury said he would have a member of his team speak to the woman and renew efforts to address the incident.

Residents are feeling increasingly ‘angry’ after a spate of burglaries and car thefts in the last six months, according to Claire Moorhead, who runs the Drayton and Farlington Neighbourhood Watch Group on Facebook.

She said: ‘I knew it was it was going to be negative this time – people want more policing, and they want more done.’

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Inspector Tilbury said he had a ‘sterling’ team of 17 police officers, including community officers, to support 16,000 residents from Hilsea to Drayton.

Speaking on plans to recruit more police officers across Hampshire, he said: ‘I’m mindful that the crime level is low, but I like to hear that we are getting more resources.’

In 2019, there were 242 crimes per month on average in the Cosham, Drayton, and Farlington area, compared with 271 per month on average across 2018, according to police statistics.

Councillor Simon Bosher, who organised the meeting alongside fellow Drayton and Farlington ward councillors Terry Norton and Steve Wemyss, encouraged residents to continue to report incidents to the police.

He said: ‘The biggest issues we face are vehicle crime and speeding – that’s a significant issue because of the number of straight roads in the area.’

The next community meeting on crime in the area is planned for the autumn.