Leaving aside the likes of CID and Intelligence, there are two levels of “Local Policing”.
The Response Teams are based at Hedge End and Andover. These are the officers who respond to 999 calls and the more urgent matters reported via 101. In the limited time between calls, they patrol areas based on intelligence and crime patterns.
Alongside that there are the Neighbourhood Teams, which is where we come in. Andover and Romsey towns are policed by their own neighbourhood teams. The Rural area, in-between and surrounding the two towns, is covered by us, the Test Valley Rural Team. We investigate local crime matters, work with partner agencies to solve problems and patrol hot spot areas.
Test Valley District covers an area of over 200 square miles and our patch covers all of the rural beats, from Vernham Dean in the North to Wellow in the South and from the Wiltshire border across to the border of Winchester. Police Sergeant Lyons looks after the team which is comprised of three Police Constables and three Police Community Support Officers. That’s a relatively limited resource for such a big area. If there was ever a time when a PC or a PCSO had responsibility for only one village, sadly those times have gone. Below are the team members and the areas for which we are responsible.
We work very hard to focus our attention on the right places and on ‘High Risk’ and ‘High Harm’ people and places. To do that we rely completely on the public reporting what is happening. We often hear people state that “crime is so bad these days”, but there are no crime figures to support that. That is either just a perception that crime is bad, or, more likely, an under-reporting of crime.
We know that sometimes calling us on 101 doesn’t always go through as quickly as we would like, this is often due to high demand. Please be patient – we need the information that you are ringing to tell us. You can now report to us online on our website www.hampshire.police.uk. You can report crime, road traffic accidents, anti-social behaviour, missing people, civil disputes, lost/found property, lost/stolen vehicles to us online. We can’t encourage you enough: please tell us what is happening. But please; don’t expect us to take reports via e-mail. You need us to be out and about, not sat in an office creating reports. If you try to report something directly to one of the team via e-mail we will politely decline.
When you make a report you may be told it will be filed as there are no lines of enquiry. Don’t worry: we still see what’s been reported from our daily searches, so we do capture the information.
Please consider signing up to Hampshire Alerts. We use this system to send out information and alerts. We send out location-specific alerts to ensure that people receive information that is likely to be useful for them. When you sign up you can tell the system the types of alert that you want to receive or do not want to receive. We are also using Twitter. Follow us on @TestVlyRuralPol. We are aware that many people prefer Facebook as a means of networking—we will be coming to Facebook soon.
The team resources are slowly coming back up to the numbers that they should be, so we will be able to get out into the communities that we have across our district.