HAVING a police station in Ringwood would help “reassure” residents, the town’s mayor has said.

Policing was discussed during the meeting of Ringwood Town Council last month, which was attended by Hampshire’s deputy police and crime commissioner (PCC) Luke Stubbs.

Mr Stubbs said the police and crime plan had recently been approved, which identified a “number of priorities” including increasing police numbers, greater police visibility and, with this, the location of police and buildings would be looked at.

He said this was about “trying to create a more visible presence”, adding: “Obviously, all over the country actually, there have never been more empty retail units as there are now and so they’ll look at the opportunities, at least in some areas, about trying to use that to provide a greater presence and reassurance”.

He said antisocial behaviour also needed to be addressed more and more money would be going to support services to prevent crime or support victims.

Rural crime including hare coursing was also a priority and that the PCC office was “keen” to do more about when officer numbers increase.

Cllr Ring said: “It is undoubtedly true that the perception, and I think to quite a degree the actual level of service, has been diminished by the lack of a police station, or at least let’s say a police office where it is reassuring and a point of reference and very simply somewhere to go to.”

He said the town would benefit from a “physical” presence with a manned office where people can go to and added that the location of the police at the fire station was “not visible, not reassuring and not a place that Joe Public can wander into and say I am very worried about X, Y and Z, and get a personal response”.

But Cllr Heron felt a police station would be “no good” and a custody suite, that wasn’t in the centre of a city and a considerable distance away, would be needed.

Cllr Day said having a local base “would be a very good idea” as there were problems reporting incidents.

Speaking to the deputy PCC, Cllr Ring said that “Ringwood would be immensely grateful for some additional resources and a police office somewhere down the high street”.

He asked the if the PCCs office could “do something” about the reporting system , 101, and triage and “get better feedback to those reporting offences”.

Mr Stubbs admitted there was a problem with 101 and call volumes were up. But he said budget provisions had been made to take on extra staff but there was “work to be done”.

The town council has offered the use of Gateway for police surgeries with the local community.


Get more Forest Journal news.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

Email newsdesk@salisburyjournal.co.uk with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.