Welcome to the latest edition of Rural Times.
Hello - I am Chief Inspector Jon Turton - and I have been the District Commander for Winchester district since June 2020, as well as the dedicated rural tactical lead for the area.
In this latest edition - which you can access here - it includes articles from Hampshire County Council about recent national figures around levels of fly-tipping increasing across the UK, a new initiative launched to tackle wildlife disturbances on UK coastlines and UK Government plans to crack down on illegal hare coursing and the return of red kites to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
You will also find crime prevention advice around protecting plant machinery and GPS systems while there is victim support information and signposting to other organisations who can help if you’ve been a victim of crime.
There is also a section rounding up the recent operations that our rural and CountryWatch teams have been involved including a housing developer being fined more than £100,000 for destroying rare dormice habitat to operations seeking to combat speeding in the New Forest to numerous poaching and livestock worrying offences.
I firmly believe that due to my previous role as the District Inspector for Winchester, it has certainly helped me to understand the local policing area with a wealth of key community contacts and solid working relationships with partners. Winchester district covers an area of over 255 square miles.
A designated heritage city which attracts an estimated 5.6 million visitors each year with great transport links by road and rail. I have one Inspector, four sergeants, 24 constables and 19 PCSO’s. The teams operate from three bases in Mottisfont Court, Alresford Fire station and Bishops Waltham. Our Response and Patrol teams are based at Winnall and they are also located at Fareham.
My Sergeant establishment has only recently increased to four, so together with the uplift in our police numbers I’ve utilised this opportunity to create a proactive team. The Proactive Team provides a flexible and agile response to spontaneous incidents, but it also takes ownership for tackling more specialist and complex crime series.
The urban and rural areas on my district present very different and varied policing challenges. Trap racing on roads to the north of the district caused disruption to local resident in the summer, as well as a potential danger to road users. A significant policing response helped to prevent further activity, but I’m also keen to explore longer term, sustainable solutions in conjunction with other agencies.
While, the coronavirus pandemic has placed a huge pressure on our communities for families, friends and businesses and none of us could have expected that it would be so far reaching or lasting for so long. Nevertheless, when it’s safe to do so I want to build on concept of our Beat surgeries and arrange some of the Barn Meets that have been popular in other areas.
Lastly, I would urge you to continue to report crimes and suspicious activity to us via the Hampshire Constabulary website or calling 101. As always, if a crime is in progress dial 999.
We hope you enjoy reading the latest edition of Rural Times.
Chief Inspector Jon Turton