We are aware a number of inaccurate media reports concerning the police drop-in meetings at a travellers site in Stoke-on-Trent. It is important to note that despite what may have been reported by some media, we don’t have a police station or police caravan on the site.
Twice a month the local Police Community Support Officer attends the sites own community centre to meet with local residents. Similar meetings take place in other locations in the same ward and across the whole force area.
Chief Inspector Adrian Roberts, Commander, Stoke-on-Trent north local policing team (LPT) said: “We are always looking for good opportunities to engage with our local communities we serve and will make use of existing buildings as ‘drop in centres’ where appropriate in order to enhance and localise meeting venues for our officers and public. The use of an existing building at Linehouses which is a long standing and well established travellers site is among hundreds of similar neighbourhood policing initiatives across the county of Staffordshire.
“A further example is that we are already utilising the nearby Goldenhill Community Centre which is in the heart of Goldenhill for regular monthly police drop in surgeries which is fully supported by local residents and the Residents Association. The Linehouses site which is on the extremities of the Ward area will afford a similar drop in surgery facility, again on a monthly basis, complementing this service and engagement with our communities.
“The Linehouses drop in surgery will be utilised by other partner agencies including education, health and social services as well as the police. Some of the other agencies have been holding regular drop in sessions on the site for quite some time. Local officers have always frequented the site on an ad hoc basis and the planned drop in surgeries will now provide more consistency and structure to our engagement.
“We hope that this will be more convenient to the local residents and would wish to highlight that this venue is not exclusive to only those who live on the site. It is open to any local resident who is seeking police advice or reassurance or who wishes to raise or report any concerns.
“The venue has not been adapted or refurbished by the police and no police funds have been spent in setting up the sessions. The building provides a main room plus a small room for anyone who wishes to speak to one of the agencies in private.”