The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight has defended a decision to merge the Isle of Wight’s Roads Policing and Armed Response Units.

The Isle of Wight is to lose its last two dedicated RPU (Roads Policing Unit) officers in May.

They will be replaced by armed response officers who also work on roads policing, leading to safety concerns.

Campaign group Isle Drive Safe – Remember Evey has urged Islanders to write to MP Andrew Turner and others.

Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane has defended the move though and said the decision is nothing to do with saving money, but is about making the Island safer.

Speaking to Isle of Wight Radio at a Rural Policing Conference at Newport’s Riverside Centre, Mr Lane said:

“It’s about keeping us safer and it’s an operational matter to deliver the most effective, modern, forward looking policing response – and that’s for the Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney to do. It’s my job to hold her to account for that.

“We need to combine to be most operationally effective – it’s not about savings. If there are economies that come from better organisation that’s great, but it’s first about efficient policing.

“She [Chief Constable] reassures me that this is about having the right, professional, responsible responses in the most trying circumstances to keep us safer. I rely on the Chief Constable to tell me what she thinks, and I think this is a good change for the Isle of Wight.”