The teams keeping Gosport safe come together for community day

FROM street pastors to Neighbourhood Watch volunteers, the organisations that work to keep Gosport safe were out in force at the weekend.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 6:06 am
Mason Brown, 10, takes a seat in the cockpit of the Hampshire Air Ambulance

Gosport High Street was packed with emergency services, youth charities and even the bomb disposal unit as part of the town’s Safer Community Day.

It was an opportunity for the public to learn more about projects happening to make the area safe – and how they can get involved.

Sam Mitchell, from Gosport Borough Council organised the event, which has been going for five years.

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She said: ‘It’s a way of promoting how the community can play a part in making Gosport a safer place to live.

‘There are lots of statutory and voluntary sector organisations that provide services, but there are also ways people can help too.

‘It’s about raising awareness of those services – such as Motive, street pastors, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and Gafirs.’

Brian Cossens is from Gosport Street Pastors.

He said in the eight years he and his colleagues have been patrolling the streets at night, crime has falling in the area by 37 per cent.

He added: ‘We are familiar, reassuring faces on the street now for people going out at night in Gosport.’

The town’s Neighbourhood Watch volunteers spent Saturday promoting a new strategy – Paws Watch.

Bob Combes explained: ‘Dog walkers are out on the streets early in the morning and late at night.

‘We’re trying to encourage them to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious to the police, and fly-tipping to the street scene department at Gosport Borough Council.

‘We’re also trying to make Neighbourhood Watch more modern by encouraging our members to use social media.

‘And we want people to talk to their neighbours.’

Dominic Lanzon took his son Max, seven, to the event, to see the emergency services’ vehicles.

Mr Lanzon, 39, said: ‘I didn’t know about a lot of the organisations here.

‘It’s been a real eye-opener. It’s good to know they are there if you need them.’