Foreword from District Inspector,
Inspector Mike Minnock

Welcome to the December edition of the Policing New Forest partnership newsletter.

Last month you heard directly from our District Commander, Chief Inspector Helen Andrews. While many of you may know me already, I wanted to introduce myself to those local partners who I have not yet met.

I am the District Inspector for the New Forest with geographical ownership of primarily the Western area of the Forest – including areas such as New Milton and Ringwood.

To give you a bit more background on me – I joined the New Forest team in early March just prior to the national restrictions. Prior to joining the team I have previously worked in areas of policing such as custody, response policing and force development. I’ve served the majority of my career in the West of Hampshire more recently as a Sergeant in custody and likewise in response policing in the New Forest.

My role is to deliver on Chief Inspector Helen Andrew’s plan and vision to prioritise policing in areas of high harm and vulnerability such as drug-related violence or the criminal exploitation of children.

I am also committed to listening and responding to any concerns or issues that local communities may be experiencing first-hand, such as rural crime and acquisitive crime – including residential and commercial burglaries. My team and I are passionate about protecting our community and targeting those offenders who prey on them.

I wish to continue developing the close working relationships with you, ensuring that we can together keep the communities of the New Forest safe and bring those who commit crime, and present a threat to our local communities, to justice.

Lastly, the impact of the pandemic cannot be underestimated and we, along with the rest of Hampshire Constabulary, have worked tirelessly within challenging circumstances to protect local resident and their communities.

New regulations and a tiered system provides further challenges, however the team will continue to police in a fair and proportionate manner.

We will continue to engage, explain and educate the public around the Covid-19 regulations before taking enforcement action for blatant breaches of the regulations.

This may be the case if there is clear evidence that an individual or group of individuals are knowingly flouting the new regulations.

This will especially apply for scenarios such as larger house parties, repeat offenders or locations where we have evidence of a previous failure to adhere to restrictions.

I hope you all remain safe and enjoy the festive period where and when you are able to.

Below are some of the investigations that we’d like to update you on. We would like to regularly highlight the work we have been doing to tackle issues, reduce crime, and apprehend offenders.
Investigation update

Man and woman jailed for shoplifting in Lymington

A man and a woman who stole cosmetics from a store in Lymington have been jailed for 3 months.

At around 10.55am on Saturday 21 November, Stephen Joseph Dempsey, aged 46, of Lower Buckland Road entered Superdrug on Lymington High Street and placed a range of cosmetic products into a bag. He was confronted by shop staff after they were alerted to suspicious activity on the shop floor, but refused to hand over the products.

Dempsey then left the store without paying, haven stolen products worth approximately £400.

He pleaded guilty to theft from a shop at Southampton Magistrates Court today (23 November).

Appearing at the same court today, Victoria Tracey Peters, 30, of Lower Buckland Road also pleaded guilty to theft from a shop and was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment.

Man arrested on suspicion of drug-driving in Totton

Officers on patrol in Totton have arrested a man for possession of a Class A drug following a successful stop and search.

The incident occurred at around 9.25pm yesterday evening (3 December) in Eling, Totton.

Officers spotted a vehicle entered the Eling Cemetery car park and conducted a series of suspicious movements.

They spoke to the owner of the vehicle, which was subsequently searched, after officers had concerns about the drivers condition.

A quantity of Class A drugs were located in the vehicle and seized as a result.

A 48-year-old man from Calshot was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug and driving whilst unfit through drugs / drink.

He remains in custody at this time.

Throughout December, officers from our Roads Policing Unit will be carrying out checks for drink and drug drivers as part of Operation Holly.

Driving while impaired can have tragic consequences and our message is simple; it’s not worth the risk.

Man arrested following burglaries in Fordingbridge and Ringwood

Officers investigating a spate of burglaries in Ringwood and Fordingbridge have arrested a man in connection with the incidents.

The incidents, which occurred on Friday 20 November, saw Woodgreen Community Store on Hale Road, Fordingbridge and Aivly Country Store on Crow Lane, Ringwood targeted.

A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary. He remains in police custody at this time.

We had previously reported that a 16-year-old boy from Ringwood had also been detained on suspicion of burglary. He was released under investigation – pending further police enquiries.

Man arrested following series of burglaries in Ringwood

Officers investigating a series of burglaries across Ringwood have arrested a man in connection with the incidents.

Properties in Swan Mead, Ashley Close, Westbury Road, Addison Square and Green Lane have been targeted since the beginning of November.

Specialist officers sighted a vehicle of interest which had been heavily linked to the recent burglaries – and after seeing the driver decamp the vehicle – officers made themselves known to the suspect and detained him.

A 27-year-old man from Dibden was arrested on suspicion of non-dwelling burglaries.

He was later release under investigation pending further enquires.

Man charged after assault on emergency service worker in Lymington

Officers responding to a request for support from South Central Ambulance Service in Lymington have charged a man.

The charges come after ambulance staff were threatened with a baseball bat and a metal pole at around 2pm on Wednesday 2 December on Lymore Lane.

Paul Mapes, aged 49, of Highfield Avenue, Lymington has been charged with one count of possession of an offensive weapon, one count of assaulting an emergency service worker and one count of possession of a Class A drug.

He was bailed and is due to appear at Southampton Magistrates Court on Thursday 28 January 2021.

Class A and Class B drugs seized during warrant in Waverley Road

Officers, who were executing a warrant at a property in Fordingbridge, have seized a quantity of drugs.

They attended an address on Waverley Road just after 6.30am this morning (20 November). A quantity of Class A and Class B drugs were seized along with other items associated with drug-related activity.

A 24-year-old man from Fordingbridge is currently assisting police with their enquiries.

Information that we receive from the community is vital and informs where we put our resources and take action against any illegal activity.

If you, or anyone you know, suspect that an address in your neighbourhood is being used for drug dealing, drug-related activity or associated crime, then please call us on 101.

Alternatively you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Man charged after assault on emergency service worker in Lymington

Officers investigating reports of drug cultivation at an address in Lymington have summoned a man to court.

An 18-year-old man from Lymington has been summoned to court on suspicion of four drug offences.

These include one count of being concerned in the supply a Class B drug, one count of being concerned in the production of a Class B drug, one count of importing a Class B drug, one count of possession with intent to supply a Class B drug and possession of criminal property.

He is due to appear at Southampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday 23 February 2021.

Community cohesion

We know there are burglaries still happening across the New Forest – both residential and commercial – and we are committed in preventing these from occurring and bringing offenders to justice as quickly as possible.

Tackling burglary is a district priority for us, which involves deployment of specialist officers and equipment, twinned with an increase in local policing and utilising intelligence drawn from reporting made by the community.

There have been a number of arrests in relation to a series of burglaries in the Ringwood area (highlighted above), and while this has been a positive outcome, we are continuing to keep up the intensity of our dedicated patrols in hot-spot areas.

We may not be able to attend every report at the time, but every report is important because it helps us build up an intelligence picture of the scale of the issue and helps us identify patterns in crime so that we are able to target the areas that most need our help.

Please do continue to report any suspicious or criminal activity to us by calling 101 or by using our online reporting tool on the Hampshire Constabulary website.

As always, if there is a crime in progress or a threat to life, please dial 999 immediately.

Service levels by Hampshire Constabulary continue to improve

Hampshire Constabulary has significantly improved service levels from members of the public calling 999 and 101 in recent months.

The average time taken to respond to a 999 telephone call is now five seconds, while the average time to respond to a 101 telephone call has fallen on average from 1min 42secs to 52secs.

We have also seen a decrease (-10%) in the amount of 101 calls abandoned, with the rate of abandoning a call within one minute also dropping significantly (-6%).

At the same time we are seeing a growth of the public reporting crime and suspicious incidents to us via our online reporting portal.

We would implore partners and our local residents to continue to report any suspicious activity or crimes directly to the police in the first instance via our online reporting portal or by calling 101. As ever, if a crime is in progress or where there is a threat to life, please dial 999 immediately.

Our district priorities

  • COVID-19 – continued engagement with public
  • Bramshaw/Cadnam/Winsor – increase in non-dwelling burglaries
  • Totton – drug related activities and anti–social behaviour
  • Ringwood/Fordingbridge – increase in non-dwelling burglaries

Please feel free to contact your local inspector with any query you may have, or go direct to Chief Inspector Helen Andrews via helen.andrews@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

Police Sergeant Amanda Allan
Waterside

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