Residents call for CCTV to be installed at Fareham crime hotspot

Petition organiser Simon Hitchcock with Joshua Crisp and Louise and Thomas Hitchcock at their allotment in The Gillies'Picture by Keith Woodland

A PETITION has been launched to get CCTV in an area known for crime.

Simon Hitchcock from Fareham started the online petition following a number of incidents in The Gillies over the past few years.

The 44-year-old policeman said: ‘We are really concerned for  the  safety of our kids and the elderly as there have been assaults around there as well as stabbings, attacks  and people being robbed.

‘I started the petition because many of the community expressed that they felt The Gillies was unsafe as it is quite a secluded area.’

The petition has now got 416 signatures.

Simon said: ‘My family have an allotment in The Gillies because we wanted a hobby to do all together and we thought it was something the kids could go to after school and we could spend evenings there.

‘However we would now never let our kids go there or through The Gillies alone especially at night.’

In 2015 three men were jailed for a vicious attack in which a homeless man, who was camping in the Gillies, was stabbed 14 times. 

In December of the same year, three teenagers were locked up for a decade after using a BB gun to rob a man of £1.50 and a few cigarettes.

The victim, Christopher Keith, was taking a shortcut through The Gillies in Fareham to get to the railway station when he was approached by three masked teenagers who demanded money from him.

One of the trio – Branden Allison, Robert Watson and Derry Bisson – shouted: ‘If you don’t give me your money now I will shoot you’ before pulling the top of the toy gun back with a clicking sound so the victim feared he was going to be shot.

Police also investigated an incident of a male exposing himself to an 18-year-old woman in the area.

Simon said: ‘I am a six-foot tall policeman and even I would not walk through there at night because of all these things that have happened.

‘And many of the reports are unable to go further because there is simply no proof.

‘So hopefully the CCTV would be a deterrent but also if anything did happen it would be captured on video and there would be a better chance of someone being caught for it.’

A comment left by someone who signed the online petition read: ‘It is upsetting and worrying to hear about everything that is happening in this area. All of us need to be safe and feel safe when we are out and about.

‘The Gillies is a popular short cut into town and having cameras would help with security.’

Simon is hoping to take the petition to the council with a thousand signatures.

He added: ‘It is a council area and I think the council should pay for it.’

A spokesperson for Fareham Borough Council said: ‘We are aware that a petition was started; however, until this is formally submitted to the council we are unable to comment.   

To sign the petition please pay a visit to thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/302/481/773/cctv-in-fareham-gillies/

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