AN URGENT review has been carried out into the Hampshire police’s response to horse and trap racing on the A33 near Micheldever.

Hampshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones has sought assurances from the force’s chief constable that plans are in place to prevent further disruption.

It comes after a Traveller community event at the beginning of May and a smaller gathering last weekend. Another happening is planned for later in June along the same stretch of road.

The event on May 1 resulted in a road closure, outraging local residents and people trying to travel in the surrounding areas.

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones, said: “The closure of the A33 as a result of an illegal Traveller community pony and trap event was wholly unacceptable. As the police and crime commissioner, and on behalf of local communities, I take this very seriously and will not tolerate this happening again.

“It is my responsibility to represent the views of the public on policing and I have heard significant concern from the public that the road was closed, as well as concerns for their own safety. I have discussed this with the chief constable and the senior officers in charge of policing the next planned event and have been assured significant planning is being undertaken and appropriate action will be taken by the police. I will also be attending the beat surgeries to hear the concerns directly from the residents.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo added: “We aim to prevent illegal activity occurring on public highways by working with all members of the community and our partners. Hampshire Constabulary has listened and will continue to listen to the public affected by this type of incident. Where such activity does occur, our first priority will be to protect life and keep people safe. At the same time, we will seek to bring individuals to justice where criminal activity occurs.

Steve Brine MP said: “I have been inundated with complaints about this illegal racing and it will not be tolerated. I am also clear this cannot be separated from a failure to address the ongoing issues at Carousel Park.

“We expect very robust action from the police and are hugely grateful to our new PCC for getting right in the middle of this so early on in her term.”

The Beat Surgery is 6-9pm on Thursday June 10 at East Stratton Village Hall.