Crime falling in New Milton and its streets are safe, say police
Crime is falling in New Milton and it’s safe to walk its streets, police told a public meeting in the town.
Around 25 locals attended a special open meeting with beat representatives, hosted by New Milton Residents’ Association at the town’s community centre.
The panel comprised town Insp. Darren Ord, Lymington and New Milton Sgt Arron Wood and PCSO Alan McCaffery.
Hearing their claims of a general crime reduction, one woman asked: “Would you say it’s safe to walk around in the dark in New Milton?”
“Yes,” Insp. Ord replied. “Crime is falling, although there may be some issues you might be scared of.
“I’m not going to say New Milton is crime free, but it is an area where crime is reducing. I’ve seen a number of reductions in areas of crime.
“If we can tackle the few people hard and fast, that means we are preventing many problems in the area.
“The high street has problems around shoplifting and, as we move into the Christmas period, that’s a real problem for us.”
Non-dwelling burglaries were another priority, he said, with an increase and connections between offences.
Insp. Ord cited last year’s spate of business raids as an example of the local team being effectively deployed on late shifts to patrol the town centre.
Sgt Wood said he was “quite pleased” to see a couple walking around the town late at night.
“I feel that this is a measure of the degree of the public perception of crime.”
Highlighting the extra security provided by CCTV cameras installed along Station Road, Insp. Ord added four more spots had been identified for cameras to be added.
Pointing out she often walked in New Milton in the dark, one local woman asked where she could get a personal attack alarm.
PCSO McCaffery responded he could arrange for one to be provided to her that evening free of charge.
Having heard one resident’s concerns about regular late-night activity in the community centre’s car park on Osborne Road, he urged people to report anything suspicious.
Sgt Wood pointed out reporting matters to police online was much quicker and a more effective way of logging incidents than the 101 number.
“Every morning we go over crimes of importance to us and we will check for CCTV or unusual activity,” Insp. Ord said.
“Even if you get told a crime has been closed, don’t be surprised if you get a call from us if we get hold of CCTV or forensics.
“It may seem you like your reports to us get nowhere, but they may be the missing part of the jigsaw.”
Having lived in the New Forest for 37 years, PCSO McCaffery shared the view it is a safe place to live.
“We’ve got it made,” he said.
“We do have problems, but they are on a very small scale compared with other areas in the country.
“We continue work to stop things like organised crime groups coming in.”
Sgt Wood said: “I have four deployable constables and two deployable PCSOs who are all highly competent and very determined.
“They want to catch crims and lock them up. I’m very lucky to have them on my team.
“We have made some shoplifter arrests recently, and some non-dwelling burglary arrests.”