BASINGSTOKE’S Chief Inspector has issued a message of reassurance to the town one month after a London teenager was murdered.

Taylor Williams, from Bromley, died after he was attacked in South View. On the same evening, another man was seriously injured in a connected stabbing. 

Chief Inspector Stuart Ratcliffe said: “We want to reassure residents that these incidents are isolated events are very rare.”

Taking to Facebook to address the public, the high-ranking officer said: “I am proud to be policing this town. I am also proud of the work our staff do working with the council to prevent crime and to keep our communities safe.

“Basingstoke is a thriving town with great transport links, excellent business connections and fantastic leisure facilities and it is a safe place to work and visit.”

The chief inspector continued: “I want to assure you, while you might not see us on every street corner, we are constantly working to monitor levels of crime and anti-social behaviour and to target resources in areas where instances are raised.”

Referencing the Gazette’s investigation into County Lines, he said: “A topic of conversation currently is County Lines, as featured in the Basingstoke Gazette.

“What is County Lines? It’s drug dealers often from London moving to areas like Hampshire to sell their products. Often these dealers will take advantage of vulnerable people and exploit children by recruiting them into their network.”

He said County Lines is not a problem unique to Basingstoke and said Hampshire Constabulary is benefitting from Government funding to tackle the problem.

He then urged residents of the town to help police. “We need you to play a part too,” he said.

“If you see something suspicious, please report it. This will allow us to react positively.”

Signs to look out for:

  • Lots of people you don’t recognise coming and going from a property
  • The occupant acting in a distracted or anxious manner
  • Seeing drugs paraphernalia
  • More taxis than usual

Anyone wishing to speak to Basingstoke’s neighbourhood team is asked to call 101 or email