Cllr Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth’s Labour Leader, went out on patrol with the police team covering his ward on Saturday 21 January.
Residents and community groups have raised their concerns about local issues in the city, and Cllr Morgan has made crime and safety a key priority in 2017.
On night patrol
The night shift started with Sergeant Richard Holland, in charge of the police team covering the Charles Dickens beat. He gave a briefing on recent police initiatives and how the safer neighbourhood team engage with the community.
Then it was out and about on patrol, in one of the busiest areas to police in the whole of Hampshire. The team’s patch includes Portsea, Landport, the city council and parts of Fratton, Buckland and Somerstown. With a high student population in the ward, a range of housing estates, Commercial Road shopping area and the night time economy of Guildhall Walk, there is lots for the police to do.
Our police in action
Cllr Morgan went out in a police car and on foot with an officer, to sites across the beat area. This included home visits, trips along Guildhall Walk and Commercial Road, and stopping by to talk with local people.
The night patrol visits vulnerable people in their own homes, talks to people who are sleeping rough, and helps with incidents in Guildhall Walk.
On this particular cold night, someone was arrested for being in possession of drugs, a house party was told to keep the noise down, and an attempted bike theft was stopped. The police officer also helped to report a paint can spillage on the highway.
Cllr Morgan’s view
Cllr Morgan said:
“I was particularly keen to learn more about Operation Build, aiming to tackle issues around drug dealing in our city. This initiative is a partnership which concentrates on protecting vulnerable people, and addressing issues of drug dealers visiting the city and associated violence. I was impressed with the results being achieved from this approach and was grateful to see officers work on this initiative first hand”.
Returning to the Central Police Station on Winston Churchill Avenue at 2am, after hours outside in freezing temperatures, Cllr Morgan was impressed with the police’s work:
“The police do a tremendous job keeping our communities safe, day in, day out. But they can only do their job with the help and confidence of local people.
“With limited resources they are making a difference in our great city and supporting the most vulnerable. Tonight was a great way to recognise and thank the team for everything they do.”
Have your say
Cllr Morgan wants local people to help set policing priorities for the area by filling in an online survey. He says:
“It is important everyone has their say on local policing priorities for our area. By doing so, the police can target their resources on the concerns that matter to us”.
The Charles Dickens Safer Neighbourhood Team are currently encouraging residents to have their say. You can complete the survey by visiting: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dickenscharles