News that Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, politician Simon Hayes, may have ruled out Havant as the location of a proposed police investigation centre is to be welcomed. But yet again the Commissioner has missed the point say local people and community campaigners.
It is quite clear that local people are not happy with the prospect of closing the police station in favour of some neighbourhood police provision moving to the Guildhall and a new investigation centre out of town. They want the existing dedicated station and service it provides to stay open.
Local community campaigners have had a fantastic response to a petition to keep Portsmouth’s Central Police Station open. There’s been lots of support on the doorstep too with nearly 400 people signing up to show support since it was launched earlier this month.
Stephen Morgan, standing for Labour in Charles Dickens ward in the May local elections, first raised this issue on behalf of Portsmouth residents. Stephen has responded cautiously to the news:
“If Havant has now been ruled out as the location for the proposed new investigation centre in favour of Portsmouth, then this may be reassuring to local people, but a key concern residents are raising with us is the lack of communication and consultation with the very people the current police station serves – the people of Portsmouth.
Where is the consultation with local people on this significant change to policing in the city? When will the Constabulary be talking to victims of crime? How have they engaged those who are less likely to report a crime to find out what they think about these proposals? More information and consultation on the current plans is urgently needed.
Portsmouth people deserve better. We want to know the full facts. We want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to have their say. This is an important decision about an essential public service in the heart of our city. Any changes will affect us all.”
The petition is available for signing at: www.change.org/p/hampshire-constabulary-keep-the-portsmouth-central-police-station-open