Crime Commissioner calls for police to a visible presence across Devon

“Even I don’t believe there’s 3,610; we’ve got to get them out and visible” Alison Hernandez.

No wonder Shaun Sawyer is going! – Owl

Lewis Clarke www.devonlive.com

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has called for a more visible presence of officers across the region. The PCC Alison Hernandez was visiting Tiverton and the constituency’s newly elected MP, Richard Foord, when they met at the Lowman Green station on Tuesday, August 16.

Ms Hernandez said: “The biggest thing, regardless of what resources policing has, is that police officers and staff work relentlessly and tirelessly to try and keep crime out of Devon and Cornwall. We are the second safest area in the country, and we are about to have the highest number of police officers we’ve ever had of 3,610. We must help our community believe they are on their side by being more visible. Even I don’t believe there’s 3,610; we’ve got to get them out and visible.

“That’s the job of the new chief constable that I’m in the process of recruiting at the moment, and I look forward to announcing who that will be soon.”

She spoke about the reopening of the station’s front desk, which is due to take place in November.

She said: “The job adverts have been out and I’d like to thank everybody who promoted those available jobs. We should have a fantastic member of staff who will be here Monday to Friday, 10 am until 3 pm, and we can’t wait to get it open.”

Despite Ms Hernandez campaigning for the Conservatives, she welcomed new Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord to Tiverton: “We want somebody who’s here to represent the community, who can go to their MP and share with them the issues that are affecting them in this constituency.

“I’m here as well as the PCC, but the MP has access to Government departments and to caseworkers who can help them support a community member in trying to get an issue dealt with.

“Policing is here for people, and if there are issues, I want them to report them to the police. I know that our 101 phone line is really busy, particularly during the summer, but there’s the online report, webchat, email, and Crime Stoppers. I’m encouraging people to report, particularly drug dealing, on 0800 555 111 completely anonymous.”

Mr Foord said he had been impressed with the hard work of officers in Tiverton and across Mid Devon.

“We’re both here today to talk about policing across Tiverton and Honiton,” he said. “We just had some members of the public come up to us and tell us about some issues that are affecting them, and I think that illustrates how opening a front desk is very effective at engaging with the community. I’d also like to see that happening at the Honiton police station.

“I’m seeing the fantastic work today of police not just in Tiverton, but across constituency area. They’re working as hard as they can with their limited resources.

“I’m certainly behind the front desk opening here in Tiverton. As a Liberal Democrat MP, I would like to see more resources put into policing. I know that across Devon and Cornwall Constabulary last year, 21,000 crimes were closed without a suspect being identified. Of course, these are the things that can be overcome with more resources for policing by the Government.”

He added that issues of antisocial behaviour were regularly brought up while out campaigning. He said: “People often talk to me about antisocial behaviour in towns. Racist graffiti is something I’ve already had constituents coming to me with concerns about, and I think we need to get on top of that before it becomes a bigger issue in the community.”

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