The Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner has defended policing in Southampton after a councillor said residents had 'lost all faith in the police'.

PCC Donna Jones said the city benefits from more police than anywhere else in the county, with crime in Southampton decreasing when comparing 2022 with 2023.

But Labour city councillor Matt Renyard, cabinet member for a safer city, asked the crime commissioner to direct more police spending here as residents had 'lost all faith in the police'.

He said: “I call on the PCC Donna Jones to direct more Police spending into Southampton.

“Residents tell me that they have lost all faith in the police to deal with local issues that affect their area such as drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Daily Echo:

“With well over a decade of underfunding in all public services, it is clear that we need to see a radical change in direction, and this will be a major issue at the coming General Election."

Defending Hampshire Police’s record in Southampton, Conservative PCC Donna Jones responded: “Southampton benefits from more police than anywhere else in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, with District Patrol Teams, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, CID and serious crime teams.

“Those who live, work and visit Southampton can be reassured that there are four police stations in the city, with Southampton Central Police Station being one of the largest police stations in Hampshire.

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Daily Echo: Caucus for Tory Hants Police Commissioner, at Ferneham Hall, Fareham, 16th June 2012, contender Donna Jones JP.She added: “Southampton has had the largest increase in police officer numbers over the last three years, owing to not only the national police uplift programme which funded 498 officers for the force, but also my commitment to fund a further 102, and then an extra 50 last year.”

 “The recent launch of the Local Bobby scheme means Southampton communities now have the direct contact details of 13 police officers working in their neighbourhoods.”

The Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner also said that reports of crime, anti-social behaviour, and theft had all come down in the past 12 months and that she had secured the 'largest amount' of money from the Safer Streets Fund created by the Government. 

She said: “Crime in Southampton has gone down 3.6 per cent when comparing 2022 to 2023. Anti-social behaviour has reduced by 26 per cent, burglary is down 28.7 per cent, bicycle theft is down 34 per cent and all violent offences have reduced.

“Since I took up office in May 2021, Southampton has been awarded the largest amount of Safer Streets funding to improve feelings of safety with extra CCTV, more street lighting, grants for community projects to reduce anti-social behaviour and training for staff in pubs and clubs to tackle violence against women and girls.

“I am therefore disappointed the local authority is consulting on turning off street lighting. I am concerned this will only add to community safety concerns, particularly crimes of a sexual nature.”