Rural bobby will go as beats are made bigger...

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 January 2011

Emergency Police Services

Emergency Police Services

Archant

VILLAGES around Weston and Worle will lose one of their police officers from April.

PC Terry Stevens will step down from his role and the remaining five rural officers will cover his beat, including Puxton, Kewstoke, Hewish and St Georges, between them.

The Mercury revealed last year how interviews were taking place to see which of the six police officers would go.

Since then, North Somerset sector inspector, Liz Hughes, has been looking at coverage based on factors such as population, area, total crimes recorded, deprivation levels, domestic crime and the percentage of those who claim to feel unsafe after dark in their area or consider antisocial behaviour to be a problem.

She insists the move has nothing to do with recent central spending reviews, but is a ‘timely review of the existing neighbourhood policing beat structure’, which has been in place for three years.

As part of the changes to the team, Sergeant Dave Holtby will move to another role within the force at the same level and will be replaced by Sgt Sharon Bennett, who currently runs the investigative support unit.

Inspector Keogh says she has widened individual beats to make sure each officer left in the Worle and villages team has an equal workload.

She added that PC Stevens will continue his service in another role within the Weston station.

Insp Keogh said: “There is still a dedicated local policing team that can be contacted on the same numbers.

“Our presence in the community will remain at the same levels. No service provision has been lost by making these changes.

“The community is vital to our success.

“Going forward it will be even more important to get views on policing matters using partners and communities together meetings, so that we can concentrate and prioritise our efforts on the matters that concern them.”

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