MEMBERS of the public cannot interact with police at Hungerford’s new tri-station, a neighbourhood officer has confirmed.
But Sgt Alan Hawkett added: “I don’t want my officers and Pcsos sat in there – it’s better that they’re out and about in the community.”
Sgt Hawkett was speaking to the following a Neighbourhood Watch meeting in the town hall on Tuesday night, in response to reports that a Good Samaritan who found a purse containing cash and credit cards in the town was unable to hand it in at the new tri-station, which houses police, fire and ambulance services.
He was told to travel to Newbury Police Station instead.
Sgt Hawkett confirmed: “Officially, the nearest police station is in Newbury.
“There’s no doorbell here and we’re behind three sets of doors, so won’t hear if someone knocks.
“It’s not designed as a police station open to the public, but it does give us a base here with computer and lunch facilities.
“No one was using the old police station counter and, anyway, I want my officers out and about in the community.”
He added: “What we really don’t want is people thinking we don’t care. Please, drop us an email or get in touch.
“Yes, there might be less of us, but the staff we do have are passionate and committed.”
He urged members of the public to report issues by emailing HungerfordandDownlandsNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
Sgt Hawkett and colleagues said they had cracked down on drug-dealing at the skate park in Bulpit Lane, but added: “It’s going to be deep-rooted and dealers won’t want to be pushed out because clearly it’s good business for them.”
Sgt Hawkett urged residents to always report crime to the neighbourhood team.
Newbury MP Richard Benyon was among the speakers who urged town residents to engage with Neighbourhood Watch schemes or establish new ones.
Among the new co-ordinator recruits is 17-year-old police cadet Jordan Buckland, of Priory Road.
He said: “We need more co-ordinators because the police can’t be everywhere and I know these schemes really work.”
Newbury and Thatcham Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Angela Money said there are now 19 schemes in Hungerford – with several people having expressed an interest in forming new ones.
In addition, she said, two new schemes have been formed in Lambourn.
Anyone interested in finding out more about Neighbourhood Watch in Hungerford can contact Angela Money on (01635) 40866, 07774 962641 or via email at email@example.com