Special meeting tackles problems in Hiltingbury

Hilt meetingAn urgent meeting of police and community representatives has recently been held, after a run of anti-social behaviour around the Recreation Ground in Hiltingbury.

The meeting, which was held on Friday 13th December, heard how local teenagers have been entering the building without permission and causing a nuisance for other users of the community building. CCTV footage shows Christmas decorations being stolen and the centre manager told the meeting there had been an attempted flooding of the toilets. Vandalism to railings at the neighbouring Hiltingbury Pavilion has also been reported.

Borough Councillor Judith Grajewski was joined at the meeting by County Councillor Colin Davidovitz, Parish Chairman Margaret Atkinson as well as the District Commander of Police, Chandler’s Ford Street Pastors and the Hiltingbury Community Association. The meeting was chaired by Winchester & Chandler’s Ford MP, Steve Brine.

Three key issues were addressed, including the recent police response to 999 calls and how users and staff at The Hilt can confidently respond to such behaviour within the law. The meeting also heard how the police are following up CCTV footage and are using evidence to issue warnings and prosecutions.

Steve Brine MP said:

“This was a hastily convened meeting but it was essential because reports coming in to me from Hiltingbury have been getting steadily worse over recent weeks. These are on the whole local teenagers and they are not bad kids, but we need to nip this in the bud before it gets out of hand and escalates. The Police were very honest in addressing their shortcomings of late and committed strongly to work much better with the Community Association in the future. There is a small but significant minority that is causing the problem and the message couldn’t be clearer, the community, backed up by the police, are onto you.”

Eastleigh Borough Councillor Judith Grajewski added:

“This top-level meeting was important because we have to deal with what many residents feel has been an escalating set of problems of late. There was a sense developing that a call to the police would yield no results and that is a concern. I was pleased with what seems to be a set of workable outcomes.”

In addition to examining communication issues with their control room, the police will be holding a session to take Hilt management through a set of procedures which will help tackle anti-social behaviour, while ensuring the facility continues to best serve local residents, including the vast majority of well-behaved youngsters who enjoy the centre.

District Commander, Chief Inspector Simon Tribe, said:

“Clearly we take the concerns of local residents and centre users very seriously and we discussed at the meeting that there have been some incidents there lately that have caused distress to people using The Hilt. The meeting was an opportunity for us to listen to local concerns and also talk about what powers and resources the police have to deal with anti-social behaviour of all levels of severity. We remain committed to working with partners and the community to find solutions to anti-social behaviour.”

“Meetings such as this serve as a reminder to parents that they are responsible for their children’s behaviour, and while the police will intervene and investigate allegations of criminality, it is ultimately for them to ensure that their children behave respectfully and lawfully within their community.”