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Changes in Winchester rural policing looming, says PC Commissioner
BUDGET cuts will force rural policing to change in parts of the Winchester district, warned the Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes.
Neighbourhood policing was “not going to be the same” as a result of the £80m cuts, Mr Hayes admitted at last night’s Alresford Neighbourhood Watch AGM.
Mr Hayes conceded levels of policing in the rural areas would be affected.
“Some things will have to drop off but we do not know what they are yet. It’s a question of prioritising what the smaller police forces are going to do,” he said.
He stated the core of police work would remain the same and he stressed the importance of “putting victims and witness at the heart of what we do”.
Mr Hayes said he wished to work on prevention as a priority from deterring re-offenders by working more closely with magistrates.
The meeting at Alresford Golf Club attended by nearly 50 people, a high turnout for the neighbourhood watch.
Mr Hayes’ three-and-a-half year plan, devised in March, includes focusing on drug and alcohol misuse and domestic abuse and violence.
The Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight said: “I want to thank you for what you do as a neighbourhood watch for the area. I hope, in the future, we can do more together as my role develops.”
Mr Hayes discussed the significance of community presence and said neighbourhood policing was of paramount importance.
He said: “I want to thank you for the work you do to keep Alresford and the surrounding areas safe.”
He finished by thanking Geoff Harris for his efforts who, after 23 years of continuous service, announced his retirement from the scheme.
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