A NEW police district commander has taken the reins for the Basingstoke and Deane area.

Chief Inspector Stuart Ratcliffe has taken over from Chief Inspector Matthews Reeves, who has been overseeing the County Lines drugs operation by Hampshire Constabulary.

The new chief recently met with Basingstoke’s MP Maria Miller to discuss policing issues in the area.

Mrs Miller said: “I meet the police chief for Basingstoke on a regular basis for an update on policing matters in Basingstoke, and I was pleased to catch up with Chief Inspector Ratcliffe recently.

“We discussed a wide range of issues, including levels of crime in Basingstoke, which it is good to hear remain generally low, police staffing numbers, and police action to tackle drug trafficking and county lines.”