There was a PACT Meeting (Police and Community Together) at Merdon School on Wednesday evening 25 March. It was attended by many Neighbourhood Watch people.
Previous PACT meeting in December last year had a low turnout (only 11 people) but on this occasion there were about 40 people present.
Perhaps numbers were up because of the recent burglaries in Chandler’s Ford.
PC Rod Thomas was in the chair assisted by a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer).
We were all reminded about security. All the usual about locking doors and windows etc but with new ideas as well. Good neighbours will watch out for one another.
Did you know that there are websites where you can log your valuables? If they are stolen they can be flagged on the site and any buyer can check that what they are buying is not recorded as stolen property.
Insurance companies like these sites as they know immediately the value of stolen goods and can quickly assess claims.
The two websites listed below, and there are others if you search the Internet, allow you to register your own valuables and to check anything you are thinking of buying in case it has been stolen.
- Immobilise: The National Property Register, for Phones, Gadgets, Bicycles and more
- CheckMEND: Provider of consumer electronics background reports
Hampshire Constabulary website has a section for our area: Hampshire Constabulary – Hiltingbury
Look after your bicycles
A useful piece of information is that police stations will sell D type cycle locks at cost price. If you need one, just pop into a police station and ask. They cost about £20.
Also, register your bike on a website above or at least note its number.
Rod Thomas told us about Pub Bans. Anyone banned from a pub for antisocial behaviour now has his or her name and picture circulated to all other pubs in the area in a national scheme. That person cannot then just move on to the next pub.
On the drug scene – cocaine is now cheap, maybe as cheap as a pint of bitter. It is the most used drug for that reason.
Burglary in Chandler’s Ford and Hiltingbury
The recent burglaries have been from houses or garden sheds. One person is in custody and the house burglaries have ceased. Apparently it is a person well-known to the police.
Traffic problems in Chandler’s Ford and Hiltingbury
General discussion brought up traffic problems, parking and speeding.
The police are looking for volunteers to run Community SpeedWatch. These are guys who check the speeds of cars with a radar device. Owners of cars exceeding 35 mph in a 30 mph area will be sent a warning letter. Persistent offenders will be noted by the police.
People object to cars parked in some places, outside schools and outside their own homes. If cars are legally parked and are taxed and insured then there is nothing one can legitimately complain about. If cars park in restricted areas, it is not a police problem, the council traffic wardens must deal with it.
Traffic wardens have to be self-financing so we will not get one to rush out from Eastleigh in the hope that a single car is still illegally parked. A persistent or regular offender is likely to be caught eventually.
The police will speak to business owners if it is felt that their customers cause congestion. Sometimes a change in layout of the parking or entrance and exit will solve the problem.
Message to Mercedes owners
One more matter. If you own a Mercedes you should be aware that the catalytic converters are being sought by thieves.
They have a scrap value for the platinum in them but it will cost you about £1000 to replace.
Eastleigh Police Station to close
Rod Thomas informed us that Eastleigh police station will close soon as part of the cuts. He assured us that he and his team will still be here for us, operating from a different site.
He reminded us to dial 999 in case of real emergency and 101 for less urgent matters. If you need to speak to him, call 101 and ask to speak to the beat officer. That will get him, maybe not immediately, but he will respond to these calls.
Eastleigh News had this report last year (Credit: Stephen Slominski):
What can we do to help the police and ourselves more?
Police numbers have been reduced. In Hampshire there may be only 65 or so officers on duty any night. That is spreading them thin. We have to help them and ourselves more.
One thing worth doing is noting any suspicious activity and reporting it. One piece of information may link with others known to the police and help prevent or solve a crime.
I was very impressed with PC Rod Thomas. He understands people and communities and how to keep them happy without any fuss. I have a feeling that he knows exactly who is likely to cause trouble and keeps an eye on them and the places where trouble is likely.