Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has held in Battle ward the second in a series of public meetings across Reading for residents to hear from senior Police officers. The meeting took place on Thursday 31st January at the Curzon Club, 362 Oxford Road and over 50 people attended.
The meeting gave local residents the opportunity to raise local policing issues with the Reading Policing Area commander, Superintendent Stuart Greenfield, and the head of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team, Inspector Keith Stacey. The meeting was also attended by Teresa Colliass, Chair of the Oxford Road NAG, and Natasha O’Brien, Chair of the West Village Residents’ Association.
Alok chaired the discussions, which included questions on a wide range of policing and crime-related issues including: drug dealing, street prostitution, licensing issues, police patrols, the application for an adult gaming centre on Oxford Road, Sexual Assault Referral Centres, and the number of frontline police officers in the Thames Valley.
Alok said: “I was very pleased to see a good turnout at this meeting and my thanks to all local residents who attended and participated in the discussions, as well as to the police team lead by Supt Stuart Greenfield and Inspector Keith Stacey. Thanks also to Natasha and Teresa for all the community engagement work they do in the local area and their perspective was particularly useful to hear. As promised, we will be holding further meetings in the coming months across the rest of the Reading West constituency.”
Natasha O’Brien, Chair of the West Village Residents’ Association, said: “The meeting was a great opportunity to meet with local Battle ward residents and hear about their concerns. It is important for the Police to engage with the public and so it was great to see them at this meeting. But, as I explained at the meeting, fighting crime is a two-way process, and so I would encourage anyone concerned about any potential criminal or anti-social activity to report it to the Police – 999 in an emergency, or 101 for non-emergency situations. All reports are used in planning of Police time and go towards evidence and convictions, so reporting concerns and information to the Police is hugely important.”
Supt Stuart Greenfield, said: “I am grateful to the Oxford Road community that attended the meeting last night which was very informative for me and the local Inspector Keith Stacey. As the Local Police Area Commander for Reading, it is vital I get to hear directly from local residents about their concerns, so we can set our priorities accordingly.”
Stuart continued: “We have seen 359 fewer home burglaries in Reading between 1 April 2012 to 17 January 2013 compared to the same period last year and the team here continues to work tirelessly so we see further reductions in burglaries in Reading. We continue to work closely with our partners and with help from local residents we will continue to try our hardest to reduce crime in Reading making it a safer place to live and work in.”
Stuart added: “We wish to continue to engage with our communities who can follow us on Twitter at @TVP_Reading and we will also be sending out message via Thames Valley Alert to residents with crime reduction advice, so I would urge people to sign up by visiting www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk.”
Photo: Supt Stuart Greenfield, Alok Sharma and Inspector Keith Stacey answer questions