HUNDREDS of people are expected to attend a public meeting about the crime situation in Totton.
The event has been organised by Cllr Neville Penman who said he wanted to give residents the chance to voice their concerns and find out from police what action is being taken to tackle criminals.
Cllr Penman, who represents Totton North on New Forest District Council, told the A&T: “We are very short of officers in Totton and people have been saying to me about crime and what we can do.
“People say they will not report it because nothing gets done. But if you report it and it’s looked at, then you get so many reports and they can see that we need a new police officer.”
The latest published figures show that between 2016/17and 2017/18 Totton had the biggest annual percentage increase in recorded crime out of the New Forest’s main towns. Numbers went up nearly 17% from 2,341 to 2,734.
“It’s not a lot of people doing the crime – it’s mostly down to three or four gangs and a few individuals. When they go inside [prison] the crime rate goes down,” said Cllr Penman.
“I heard people have gone in and now they are out and so a few things have gone on in Totton. It looks bad but it’s only a certain amount of groups. It makes the rate rise again.”
Cllr Penman expected between 300 and 400 people at the meeting and has invited Inspector Helen Andrews, a local PC and PCSO, councillors, and Cllr Samantha Churn, the chair of Totton and Eling Town Council.
“We never hear the good things about Totton, so I am hoping people will come to this meeting and realise they can do something about crime,” said Cllr Penman.
The meeting will be at 7pm on Thursday 7th February at AFC Totton’s Testwood Stadium in Salisbury Road.