RESIDENTS of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are being asked for their views on policing in the first major public consultation exercise by the new Police and Crime Commissioner.

Simon Hayes, is writing his first police and crime plan since taking office, setting out how he will ensure there is an efficient and effective police service for the two counties.

To ensure the targets he sets reflect the public’s views, he has launched an online survey. He said: “When I was elected, I made a commitment to be the voice of the people. I spend much of my time meeting community representatives, but I want the public to send views and opinions directly to me.

“When I publish the plan and set the policing element of the council tax, I want my decisions to represent the thoughts of as many people as possible, so I would strongly encourage people to complete the survey.”

Mr Hayes, who faces some major decisions in coming months with the appointment of a new chief constable and tough financial pressures, added: “The public expects more from our police service, but there is only a limited amount of money in the pot to spend.

“Could the police be doing more in some areas? If so, would people be prepared to pay for it through an increase in the council tax, or if we need to make cuts to ensure people don’t pay more, where can we make savings?”

The survey will end at midday on January 18. To complete the survey, follow the link from the commissioner’s website here. For hard copies, contact the commisioner’s office, on 01962 871595.