I’m proud to have spearheaded the campaign to save our island from further police cuts.
In the face of threats to cut vital community policing the community really came together. A public petition was created and made available online and in local shops and businesses on Hayling. The response was overwhelming and in a little over 4 weeks the petition was signed by over 1,600 people.
The comments on the petition explain very clearly how and why the loss of our local Police is such a important issue at the heart of our community.
“Police presence is vital to keeping Hayling safe and secure, especially with the recent influx of break ins and thefts. Although Havant Police have done a great job apprehending the more violent suspects with crimes including violent knife attacks within the last month, I am 100% positive losing a local police officer would have a far reaching detrimental effect on our small Island.”
“With rising incidents on Hayling and more houses being built, it is essential that we have a dedicated police officer who is part of our community the whole time.”
You can read all the comments on the online petition which is available if you click here.
The petition has been sent to Havant MP, Alan Mak, for the attention of both Alan and all Hayling councillors, with the following letter:
Please find enclosed a petition from the people of Hayling Island who wish to protect police funding.
You will appreciate that the petition is intended for you and all Hayling councillors. You will equally appreciate that councillors have shown a reluctance to address this issue, preferring to suggest that police budget issues do not fall under their remit as councillors. The fact remains however that funding solutions require all elected officials to work together, particularly during a period in which the government is increasingly ‘out sourcing’ funding to local authorities and dedicated bodies. In light of this, I urge you to take a joined up approach to finding a solution. The public, ultimately, are not concerned about the bureaucracy underpinning funding, just that funding is provided.
Since launching the petition, communication has been ongoing between a number of locals and relevant representatives of both the police and the council. Whilst these communications have been helpful, they have often provided contradictory information. As it stands then, there is a widespread fear that policing on Hayling is likely to be squeezed even harder in 2018. Having been an island with a fully functioning police station just a few short years ago, it has already been confirmed that Hayling will now fall under the wider Havant and Emsworth unit and this will result in a thinner spread of officers with one much admired officer no longer beginning and ending her day focusing on our island. And whilst there was at one point a suggestion that the only changes which should be anticipated would purely be an issue of standard officer rotations, it has since been confirmed that rotation is not the issue here.
There is a clear and obvious correlation between the decrease in policing and the increase in crime. With the burgeoning costs associated with rising crime figures, it is difficult to argue that funding cuts represent anything other than short term savings but higher long term costs. Good management of the public purse then needs not only a joined up approach but a stronger focus on longer term fiscal management.
So allow me, for the sake of clarity, to reiterate the intention of this petition: to urge you to work with all local representatives and other relevant bodies to save Hayling from policing cuts.
The publicly ultimately judge the actions of any politicians on real life results, not on statements of intent or commitments to make representations. I urge you then to deliver on this.
Should you wish to speak to me directly about this matter, I would, of course, be happy to oblige.