Totton Crime Wave
I think all local Facebook users will be well aware of yet another spike in criminal damage and anti-social behaviour in the town.
It is rather more than just one youth with a catapult, although he alone seems to have made a lot of people feeling really miserable and insecure.
I hope that he doesn’t get caught by the angry man, armed with a cricket bat, apparently intent on delivering some instant justice.
I have seen social media posts blaming the police for an inadequate response.
I have to say, it is unfair to do so. I think that police resources are so depleted that they are barely just responding to serious incidents.
We have nothing like the level of community policing we you used to have.
So where should the blame rest? Well… first and foremost, blame rests with those committing the criminal behaviour.
Nobody deserves to be a victim and if we all had a proper sense of respect for each other we wouldn’t need a police force.
Secondly, it is politicians who decide how well resourced our police force is.
Even before we had a rather remote and out of touch Tory Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, the numbers of police officers was being cut, again and again.
So part of the blame for inadequate resources must rest with conservative MP’s who make the decision to support budgets with these cuts in them.
Locally, you may recall a few years ago that the conservatives at Hampshire County Council decided to make all the Accredited Community Safety Officers redundant.
We lost Paul and Paula (pictured here), who were excellent officers, well in touch with what was going on at street level and often acting well before problems bubbled up.
I will be asking the conservative administration to review the wisdom of that decision.
I suspect it has had significant impacts, not just in Totton, but in the whole of Hampshire.
I think local government is really bad, reluctant in the extreme, to learn from the mistakes of old.
As the saying goes, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you are doomed to repeat them.
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The headline may not match the reality but I suggested it to the one journalist who attended the extraordinary meeting of the Town Council tonight that confirmed a decision on the way forward with the Hanger Farm facility.