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An update on policing in St Enoder area
My article in this week’s Cornish Guardian considers police staffing in our local area.
It is to be welcomed that the Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Police Commissioner Alison Hernandez are making representations to the Policing Minster Nick Hurd about the “unsustainable impact” of dealing with the “extra 11 million tourists to Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly eachyear.”

They are right to challenge the dreadful under-funding of the police by the UK Government – and it is not just pressures during the tourist season.

I agree with Mr Sawyer that it is unacceptable that our local force “receives an average of 49p per person per day funding, well below the national average of 57p.” And it is a scandal, that in spite of “greater complexity and demand,” we have “1,000 fewer officers and staff than in 2010.”

Conservative activist Alison Hernandez, in particular, needs to get her own party to live up to their failed election promises.

I cannot forgive them for claiming – before they came to power in 2010 – that they would put “more police on the street” and even lambasted “dishonest” opponents who suggested the Tories would “cut police officer numbers.”

After years of damaging funding cuts, such mock outrage does look pretty threadbare.

It is now two years on from the launch of the Police and Crime Plan (2017-2020), which agreed to recruit “100 new uniformed officers, 50 civilian investigators and 30 record-takers,” though the downsize was that more than half of the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) would be “phased out.”

Along with many others, I objected to the proposed reduction in PCSOs and I was very concerned at newspaper reports which stated that, though “no decision” had been taken on which communities would lose a PCSO, “large towns and cities are expected to see little change.” Obviously, I challenged the Police Commissioner on this and the negative impact on more rural communities.

I received assurances that the statement was not correct, and yet it seems to be coming true in my local area.

The full-time PCSO serving the St Columb and St Enoder part of the Newquay policing area has moved to a different patch, and Inspector Dave Meredith has confirmed that the officer will not be replaced because of the cuts. Dave kindly attended a recent meeting of our Parish Council to explain his decision. He outlined the pressures that the local police were under, and when challenged on whether any of the PCSOs in Newquay would spend time in St Enoder Parish, he said this would not be happening because of greater pressures in the town.

It may be a logical decision for the Inspector, but I am very angry that my local area will receive less cover because of government cuts. This all needs to change.
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By Dick Cole. Published on 14th April 2019.

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