Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Tory plan to close Launceston police station?

Launceston Police Station is under threat. And the Conservatives - whose cuts have put it at risk but could still save it - are refusing to come to the rescue.

The front counter service has already gone. So local people have to rely on the very inconsistent 101 telephone service where they could be hanging on for 30 minutes or more. Before the front counter was closed, the Conservative Police Commissioner - Tony Hogg - was warned about the failings of his proposed alternative, but he went ahead anyway.

The next step has been to propose to remove the custody suite from the station. This is a very modern facility which has had a lot of money spent on it. It serves a wide area of Cornwall and Devon. But the force is now formally proposing to close it.

Why is this happening? The savings are being forced through by Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May. She has been clear that her party’s agenda is for massive savings across the public sector, and rural police are not exempt. So Devon and Cornwall police have to take their hit.

But it is also down to another Conservative politician - Tony Hogg the police and crime commissioner. It is he who sets the strategic direction of the force and decides where the money is spent. He could save rural policing and facilities such as Launceston’s. But he is refusing to do so.

The gradual run down of Launceston Police Station leads me to one question - is the complete closure of our police station next on the Conservative agenda?

When she was on a recent electioneering trip to North Cornwall, Theresa May was asked about the run down of Launceston police station. She said that “we have to rationalise our resources”. Alongside her at the time was local tory candidate Scott Mann who said nothing to oppose the cuts.

So - Theresa May, Tony Hogg and Scott Mann appear to have a plan to close down rural police stations. Can we trust them with our vote on May 7th?

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