PRE-CHRISTMAS PUBLIC ORDER PATROLS

Due to a rise in criminal damage reports in Alresford town over the previous six months, extra Police Officers were on duty on the three weekends prior to Christmas. Working until 0200 hours, two Officers walked the town beat on Friday and Saturday evenings. Unfortunately no-one extra was available to work on Christmas Eve, and this was the only night on which damage was actually caused, to cars in Station Road.

The other weekends were unusually quiet. One night, a small fight was witnessed and broken up by the officers in West Street. Details r occasion, a small quantity of cannabis was seized from a group of teenagers in a car, and on another, at 0145 in the morning a high spirited group were caught walking off with the tables from outside of the Horse & Groom. These were replaced on request and an apology offered. On the same night a local resident was warned for singing drunkenly and loudly whilst walking home through the graveyard behind St John's Church.

So, all in all there wasn't much crime to be dealt with. However, that is not what it is all about. The preventative impact of extra high visibility patrols cannot be measured but it was definitely a worthwhile exercise, which will be repeated in the near future.

LOCK YOUR DOOR EVEN WHEN YOU ARE IN

A recent story about robbers caught on a home CCTV highlights the need for us all to lock doors at all times. The property was guarded by three CCTV cameras, an alarm and sensors in each room, but the unlocked door circumvented all that! Police are studying the images of the intruders who made off with jewellery and cash worth 800.

NEWSLETTER CIRCULATION

We would like to extend the number of households receiving this Newsletter, in the wider area covered by our Association. If you know of anybody prepared to assist in delivering Newsletters in any of the villages that currently don't get a door-to-door delivery, please get in touch with the editor. We can easily print more copies!

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AGM REPORT

Sadly, attendance at the ADNWA AGM was down on previous years, but the quality of the guest speaker was maintained. Those present at the Goods Shed on November 10th heard an enlightening talk on the Probation Service from John Davies, the Area Manager.

He explained the Service's role as a law enforcement agency, its association with the Prison Service and likely future changes. He talked about the "offender journey", plus the emphasis on delivering numeracy and literacy skills and efforts to combat re-offending, given that 50% of crime is committed by the same people.

He believes that any punishment must be appropriate to the offence, which means a mix of custody and unpaid community work. 2000 of the 7000 sentences per annum in Hampshire involved unpaid working, which is far from being the cushy punishment that some people assumed.

There are strict controls and penalties for those who try to buck the system. The work is skill based and designed to build self esteem and respect for the community. Many examples of local projects were given. The organisation is keen to get charities and communities involved with projects that could be used for unpaid work. More info can be obtained from the web site.

There were also tributes to Inspector Steve Sargent, who is retiring after 30 years service. These came from both Alresford Neighbourhood Watch and also from Petersfield Neighbourhood Watch, which he helped to establish during his 10 years of service there, prior to moving to Alresford in 2004. As Rob Fellows, our Chairman put it, 'a man of action, who could be relied on to provide a quick response'.

THINK ABOUT WHAT'S OUTSIDE


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH MUST NOT REST ON ITS LAURELS

Your Neighbourhood Watch Committee has excellent liaison with the Police and crime in the area had declined year after year up to 2004 when the lowest recorded crime figures were published. Unfortunately, partly because of this, Police cover based in Alresford has been gradually reduced. Whereas there used to be 14 bobbies based at Alresford Police Station, plus 24/7 area-car cover, the current situation is that there are now less than half that number of officers, providing up to 17 hours per day cover and the area car is now based in Winchester. Because of the low crime figures many people have wrongly assumed that crime has vanished from the area and the complacency is now such that many local incidents are not being reported. Please do not ignore -

PETTY CRIME

NEWSLETTER ONLINE

The Neighbourhood Watch Newsletters are now available on line at www.alresford.org/neighbourhoodwatch It is hoped to add more Neighbourhood Watch information to this site in the coming months.

CO-ORDINATOR NEWS

Both Penny Scott (Cheriton) and Maurice Russell (South/Bridge Road) are stepping down after many years of dedicated service. Penny has handed over to Vandra Roberts 01962 771533. Maurice unfortunately, due to failing health, decided 15 years of service was enough. We must thank them both and wish them all the best for the future.

Efforts to recruit a South Road replacement, to date have been unsuccessful. Any public spirited person(s) in this area willing to become co-ordinator please phone Ralph Pointer (734833)

USEFUL CONTACTS

EMERGENCY 999 Crime in progress
Life in danger
Violence being used
NON -EMERGENCY
0845 045 45 45
Ask for Alresford Police Station
Contact Police officer
Report minor crime
Leave messages
ALRESFORD POLICE STATION ENQUIRY DESK
Monday - Friday 12.30 - 13.30
18.00 - 19.00
Weekends
09.30 - 10.30
18.00 - 19.00
Hampshire Constabulary website
www.hampshire.police.uk
Information on crime prevention and all Police services.

Constabulary Column

An update from Alresford's Sergeant Andy Heward

INSPECTOR RETIRES

Inspector Steve Sargent completed his last day of Police duty on 17th December 2005, after 30 years of service.

At present his vacancy is being filled by Inspector Gerry Thorne who was previously the Longmoor Sector Inspector, based at Whitehill, where he has worked for the past 9 years.

From 1st April 2006 the situation may well change again when Hampshire Constabulary makes major changes from 10 BCU's (Basic Command Units) to 6 OCU's (Operational Command Units), to align themselves more with local Council boundaries. The new territory will then include Bishop's Waltham, but exclude Alton and Whitehill.

THOSE NOTTINGHAM KNOCKERS AGAIN !

The area was visited by the door-to-door sellers again on 21/12/05. A half dozen were offloaded into Alresford, Cheriton, Bighton and Gundleton for the day. Several were checked out and warned for 'peddling without a certificate.' All carried the same Nottingham based company 'Jazz Enterprises' 'Hawkers identification'. This is a worthless piece of laminated card, with no photograph and it does not give them permission to sell door-to-door. A proper Peddlers Certificate can only be issued by the Council in the area where the selling is to take place, which is very unlikely to have been done.

When the Police receive a call about the knockers, the officer will satisfy himself that the ID given is correct, then search the person as well as their bag of goods. If all appears in order, a warning will be given for peddling without a certificate. If possible a number for the van driver/boss will be obtained and they will be told to come and pick up their person. If they continue to 'knock', the goods will be seized as evidence and a court summons issued. Usually this threat of action is enough to make them leave the area.

Some of the young people involved are genuine but don't last very long in the business. They are driven hundreds of miles from home, dropped off in unfamiliar areas. It is a chance to earn some money, but it is pretty poor employment with only a small cut from what they sell.

Others are opportunists who will use intimidation to 'up' their sales, or take advantage of unwary householders to help themselves to items not belonging to them. It is big business and those behind the 'salespersons' will be raking in the money. It is not a charitable way of helping the young unemployed, but a way of exploiting them.

DIRECTORY DELIVERY

The next delivery in our area of Southern Business Pages is due to commence on 7 February. Please watch out for any left on doorsteps and take them in for neighbours if need be.