Eglinton policing - get it right

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Sir,

In response to the recent ‘Hamill’s Beat’ (09/04/13) where your columnist misrepresented the policing situation in Eglinton can I take this opportunity to present a few facts and set the record straight?

Neighbourhood Officers with vast local knowledge, who are familiar to local residents and businesses, continue to serve in the area as normal. The level of service provided to the local community will not be affected by the closure of the station.

In fact we are making sure there are added opportunities to contact local police outside of the usual channels including making use of the mobile police station.

We also have a dedicated police motorcyclist in the Waterside area and in recent months have run a number of crime prevention initiatives around agricultural crime – an issue that is of importance to residents in the Eglinton area. Police are also consulting with the community on setting up local surgeries.

The fact is Neighbourhood Officers can be contacted directly on their phones and are regularly in the village carrying out enquiries and speaking to local people.

It is true to say there has been a spate of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour in the area in recent weeks however all these incidents are being dealt with by local officers who have a vested interest in keeping the community they serve safe.

Mr Hamill’s comments do a great disservice to the Neighbourhood officers of Waterside Rural Team who are committed to and passionate about community based policing.

Yours etc.,

Sgt Frankie Smyth,

Waterside Rural Policing Team.