HIGHCLERE and Burghclere have a new beat officer in the form of popular bobby PC Richard Baldwin.

PC Baldwin will be covering for PC Matt Deery who is on secondment within the police force.

PC Baldwin has covered the Overton area since July 2005, and in that time has overseen a 50 per cent reduction in reported crime in the area.

PC Baldwin, 46, said he regards overseeing local festival CarFest in 2012 and 2013 as among the highlights of his time on the beat.

He said: “I am moving from the Overton beat to cover Highclere and Burghclere as the officer in that post is currently seconded to another part of the organisation.

“I would like to thank the communities of Overton, Freefolk and Laverstoke for their continued support, and would hope that some day I would be able to return as their village bobby.”

PC Baldwin, a father-of-four, moved to Basingstoke at the age of one and joined the RAF when he was 17.

He then worked for the AA and insurance company Sun Life Financial of Canada before joining the police.

In 2011, he ran the Reading half-marathon in aid of local charity Sebastian’s Action Trust.