People in the New Forest area are to be protected by a new police initiative.
The New Forest High Harm Team, which started on Monday 20 March, is led by Sergeant Andy Gwyer and comprises four police officers, which could be expanded in the future.
The team will focus on the policing priorities across the district and support local Neighbourhood Policing objectives, including managing high harm offenders, carrying out proactive patrols to prevent crime and catch offenders, and working with other forces to reduce cross-border criminality.
Their portfolio will also include drug-related harm – encompassing targeting county lines, and the hidden impact of drug-related crimes within local communities, making regular visits to vulnerable people at risk of being exploited by drug dealers to offer support and protection.
The team based out of Lyndhurst Police Station, will cover the whole of the New Forest district.
Chief Inspector Nick Marsden, district commander for the New Forest, said: “I’m pleased we have been able to set up this team and make sure the New Forest remains a safe place for our residents and visitors.
“High Harm Teams have enjoyed great success in other districts across the county, and I am keen to see this replicated here.
“We are always looking at how we can best serve the public and the work of this team will be adaptable and driven by intelligence and crime trends we are seeing in the area – these aims will be achieved with a mixture of high-visibility patrols and plain clothes operations in hot-spot areas.
“As always, if you spot anything suspicious or if you’ve been a victim of crime, please report it to us via our online reporting portal or by calling 101. Alternatively, if a crime is in progress, please dial 999 immediately.
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