Thursday, 15 May 2014

Launceston Police front counter to close?

Devon and Cornwall's Conservative Police Commissioner Tony Hogg is proposing to close a number of front counters across the force area. Once of those that will go under his plans is Launceston.

Of course the police need to save money, but I question whether this is the best way to achieve those savings. If the police become more inaccessible, then will they retain the same level of public confidence? The 999 number is there for emergencies, but few people know about the 101 number for non-emergencies. That is the direction that people are being pointed in for enquiries that until now have been dealt with over the counter. But if few people know about it will we see more unnecessary calls to 999? And can the force guarantee that the performance of the 101 number will improve so fewer people give up on it?

Perhaps a quicker way for Mr Hogg to save money would be to cut back on his own bloated personal office - which, despite promises from the Home Secretary, now costs more than the old Police Authority, stop spending so much on consultants, stop claiming rent for a second home when he could stay in Exeter for free. He could also stop wasting money on pay offs to former staff members with whom he disagrees.

I have written to Mr Hogg seeking an assurance that the operational base and custody centre is not under threat and to ask for details of how members of the public will be able to contact the police in person if they need to.

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