SECURITY in Boscombe is being stepped-up after a member of staff at the 99p store was stabbed inside the Sovereign Shopping Centre.
Following the attack, which took place earlier this month, two new community safety patrol officers have been recruited in a bid to bring reassurance to shoppers, staff and visitors.
The officers, who will work alongside Dorset Police, will be funded by the Recession Fund – money given to the Coastal Business Improvement District by Bournemouth Borough Council to support local businesses during the economic downturn.
Peter Ruscoe, the newly appointed manager at the Sovereign Centre, said: “The new officers will patrol the precinct and the centre, increasing security, supporting shoppers and reinforcing peace of mind.”
Following calls for increased police patrols in Boscombe, Dorset Police has reiterated its commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the area.
Bournemouth East Neighbourhood Inspector Chris Weeks said: “Boscombe is one of Dorset’s most patrolled areas with its own dedicated safer neighbourhood team.
“To compliment this, we have recently introduced the police box where officers conduct community engagement and short patrols of the immediate area.”
He added: “The officer on police box duty at the time of the Sovereign Centre incident was first on the scene to render emergency first aid, detain the man and coordinate crime scene preservation.”
Mr Weeks said it is hoped additional community safety patrol officers, which have already begun their training, will start next month.
RAJESHWAR Bhinder from Bournemouth has been charged with grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon in connection with the stabbing at the Sovereign Shopping Centre.
The 45-year-old, of Walpole Road in Boscombe, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, May 16.
The case was adjourned until July 11. Bhinder was remanded in custody.
CRIME RATES LOWERING
LAST year saw the lowest crime rates in Boscombe for the past five years with an overall reduction of 10 per cent, Dorset Police has revealed.
Statistics show there were 500 fewer crimes in the area compared to the previous year.
However police say they are continuing to battle problems with drug dealing in the area.
Inspector Weeks said: “One of our main focuses locally is that we still face challenges in relation to on-street drug dealing.
“I urge members of the community to call us or engage with the officers on the police box to inform us of any suspicions they may have in relation to this unacceptable criminal activity.”