RESIDENTS who’d like their local police station to re-open to the public are being urged to fill in a short survey.
Enquiry desks in Holsworthy and Torrington could be among those to open as Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alison Hernandez pledges to reverse some of the closures that began more than a decade ago.
Bude Police Station is set to open its front desk in early 2023, joining those in Truro, Penzance and Newquay that have been re-opened for walk-ins. Now 44 other towns in Devon and Cornwall are also on a list for a potential re-boot of the service.
PCC Alison Hernandez says she wants to reverse the closure of enquiry desks in order to deal with the overloading of the 101 enquiry line, which she has described as a “headache”. Ms Hernandez says that the staffing of front desks will enable residents to have the reassurance of face-to-face contact, while those employed on the desks would also be able to assist in dealing with emails to the two contact centres in Exeter and Plymouth.
“Front desks are ideal places for residents to report crime, get advice on crime prevention or victim services and to connect policing to local communities,” she said.
“When not dealing with people face-to-face, Police Enquiry Officers are able to deal with non-emergency email contacts, reducing pressure on the force’s 101 service.”
Public support is one of the factors that the Commissioner will use to decide on which places to re-open. People in Devon and Cornwall can submit their views until January 2 by visiting www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DYPSW66
Ms Hernandez said that initial feedback from communities where police enquiry offices have reopened in December has been extremely positive: “Crimes have been reported, a vulnerable missing person given shelter and assistance, and crime prevention information handed out.
“The project has so far created 26 part time police enquiry jobs and helped ease the pressure on police contact centres by enabling more people to meet an officer or police member of staff in their community.
“I know more communities would like to see their police stations reopened to the public and I am absolutely committed to delivering more openings. Public support was a vital component in deciding the first locations for this investment, so now I’m asking people to let me know which stations they would be most likely to use if their front desks were reopened.”
Local people are asked to choose three preferred locations from a list of police stations in the Devon and Cornwall Police area. In East Cornwall and West Devon those on the list are Callington, Bodmin, Launceston, Holsworthy and Torrington.
Due to the successful recruitment and training of four Police Enquiry Officers, Bude Police Enquiry Office will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am until 3pm from January 16, 2023 and then open for six days (Monday to Saturday) each week from January 30, 2023.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Alison Hernandez said: “I am delighted that Bude Police Enquiry Office will open in the new year. I want the reopening of these stations to be regarded as places where members of the community can seek advice and reassurance and would urge those thinking of contacting the police via the 101 service to consider whether they could visit this station in person. Face to face contact with the force as an essential component of policing and I am keen to reopen more front desks next year.”