COMMUNITY police officers met with residents to offer reassurance following the alleged murder of one of their neighbours.
They joined forces with Homewatch members to hold a ‘Street Corner Meeting’ near the home of businessman Guy Hedger, who died of gunshot wounds following an incident at his home in the early hours of Sunday April 30.
Officers parked their mobile unit, which is in the style of a shed and marked ‘sheducation’, at the end of the cul-de-sac where Mr Hedger lived with his husband.
Around 20 people from nearby homes braved torrential rain to meet with the officers and Homewatch members to discuss security concerns.
Mr Hedger lived in Castlewood, St Ives, and the unit was parked at its junction with David’s Lane.
PC Julian Humphries, from the Local Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I have been a beat bobby for 16 years and in all that time there has never been an incident like this in this area.
“It is unprecedented and has undoubtedly caused concern among people who live here.”
He said members of the St Leonards and St Ives Homewatch team were on hand to offer advice on home security and to offer security devices for sale if required.
PC Humphries added: “It is about educating people to protect their property and reminding them that incidents such as the death of Mr Hedger are incredibly rare.”
Resident Neville Allen said: “There is obviously a lot of concern and this is the first time anything like this has happened in the 30 years I have lived here.
“The police have been very prompt to reassure householders and have interviewed many of us two or three times already. We are very impressed with the way it has been handled.”
Three men have appeared in court charged with the murder of Mr Hedger. Kevin Downton, 40, from Winterbourne Stickland, near Blandford, 41-year-old Jason Baccus and 44-year-old Scott Keeping, both of Verney Close in Bournemouth, are all being held in custody and are due to appear at Winchester Crown Court in July.