A PETITION has been launched to get more police patrolling the streets of Littlehampton.
The Littlehampton Neighbourhood Watch kick-started its Feet on the Beat campaign at the end of its quarterly meeting, last Wednesday (December 10)
The group feels that a more powerful, visible presence of patrolling officers is needed to slash ‘stubborn’ crime rates in some wards.
Mike Cullern, chairman of the neighbourhood watch, said: “Despite my criticism of the police, I believe they do their best within confines of their numbers, however, with Ham and River ward crime figures stubbornly refusing to come down to acceptable levels we feel more effort is needed by the police to be concentrated in these two wards.
“Perhaps I and our members are indeed old- fashioned, but the visible presence of police officers on the beat is a natural deterrent to wrong-doers and a confidence booster to the general public. I have no doubt that it is a feral minority within the town and district that are the cause of the reported anti-social behaviour and crime but unless these persons are effectively managed by the police, nothing will change.”
Responding to the campaign, the district commander for Arun and Chichester, Chief Inspector Justin Burtenshaw, said police resources were allocated based on demand for the area.
He explained there was a pool of officers from across West Sussex that could be called to respond to emergency incidents.
He added the force had already planned a number of joint operations across the district and town in the run-up to Christmas and had been supporting the Sensible on Strength campaign to tackle anti-social drinking in the town.
CI Burternshaw said: “Residents and businesses can be assured that we are doing all we can to address local issues.
“There is significant activity going on in the town to tackle the street community issue, with the support of partners. In the last three months, more than 550 hours of directed patrols have taken place in the town centre and this is in addition to a designated public place order regularly used by officers and PCSOs to seize alcohol.”
For details or to sign the online petition, see http://littlehamptonnhw.org.uk/campaigns/the-feet-on-the-beat-petition