A LUKEWARM reaction has been given to the new way in which Flackwell Heath is policed.

Up until two months ago policing for the village was based in Marlow. Now, however, it is based in Hazlemere as part of a plan by Thames Valley Police to make policing areas mirror those covered by Chepping Wycombe Parish Council which include Tylers Green, Loudwater and Flackwell Heath.

David Onslow, chairman of the Flackwell Heath Residents Association and the association's police and traffic group, said: "We did not have any say in it. This is supposedly Thames Valley Police getting closer to the community but it's Hazlemere police station which is further away than Marlow.

"We can only assume that things will get better because our group's been on for a long time about improving things."

One of the residents' main gripes has been the apparent lack of police presence a subject that came up when new policeman, Hazlemere-based Sgt Brian Keir and area beat officer PC Rob Page introduced themselves to some of the residents at Chepping Wycombe's annual council meeting two week's ago.

Then, one resident said: "This is the first time I've seen several policeman together for a very long time."

Sgt Keir said the area has one identifiable police car for the area while PC Page said he tries to visit Flackwell Heath every day. But councillor Maurice Smith, of the Loudwater ward, said: "Chepping Wycombe parish has some 14,000 to 15,000 people in it and to have one car to cover that area is ridiculous."

Despite the mixed reaction, police have pledged to crack down on anti-social behaviour and urged residents to contact them directly. PC Page said: "You can contact me regarding minor end-of-the-scale crime that occurs regularly. "

Pierre Du Bois, spokesman for Thames Valley Police, said: Hazlemere police station is not as busy as Marlow's so there are now more resources available to Flackwell Heath.

You can speak to Sgt Keir or PC Page on 08458 505505.