New drop-in centre helps tackle crime
A CRUSADE to curb crime in Yeovil town centre has received a welcome boost.
Police have struck a deal with South Somerset District Council to open a drop-in station in the town centre.
It is hoped that the station, located in Petters House, off Petters Way, will encourage local residents and shoppers to report crime and get to know their neighbourhood officers.
Sergeant Jamie Rees of Yeovil Police said it will also be of great benefit to officers who will be able to spend more time in the town centre.
He said: "I really believe that this is fantastic news for our community.
"Having a place which is easily accessible in the town centre will make a big difference.
"It will also mean that my staff have a convenient place to work without having to return to the station.
"As a result, I have no doubt this will mean more officers will spend more time spent on patrol, rather than travelling to and from the station. I would like to encourage the public to use this service, whether it is to report an incident or simply to come and have a chat."
Police are to trial the new station for a period of three months, starting from Monday.
The building is currently used by the district council and also the Citizens' Advice service.
Throughout the trial period, a member of the Yeovil neighbourhood beat team will be based there from 9am until 10.30am and from 3pm until 4pm.
At other times normal foot patrols will take place with contact details for officers to be left on the desk.
District council staff working in the building will also have a town centre radio link to contact on-duty officers, should a member of the public require police assistance. Officers will be able to return to the post within minutes when on patrol.
District councillor Tony Fife, said: "We have always enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the police here in Yeovil and we are delighted to be able to offer them a base at Petters House.
"It will enable members of the community to access police services in a convenient and accessible location within the town centre, and will complement the wide range of services already available here."
Police confirmed the project will be trialled for a period of three months – with the view to developing a more permanent agreement if it is successful. The drop-in station comes weeks after police relaunched a scheme to tackle anti-social behaviour in Yeovil town centre.
The renewed initiative sees a special constable and community support officer deployed to tackle antisocial behaviour in well-known hotspots every weekend.