Police enquiry office in Honiton could face closure

PUBLISHED: 10:38 16 May 2014 | UPDATED: 10:48 16 May 2014

Archant

Honiton’s public enquiry office could face closure as Devon and Cornwall Police announce new proposals following a forcewide review.

The proposed changes are expected to save around £760,000 per annum. Honiton and Exmouth would close if the new proposals are given the go ahead.

Speaking today about the proposal to close the enquiry office at Honiton local MP Neil Parish, at a meeting of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce, said: “It does concern me. I have written to the chief constable to review the situation.”

Public enquiry offices in Totnes, Tiverton, Okehampton, Newton Abbot, Falmouth, Penzance, Bude, Liskeard and Launceston would also close.

Although, offices at Plymouth Charles Cross, Torquay and Exeter Heavitree Road will remain open for six days a week between 8am and 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on Saturday.

Exact details around opening hours and staffing are still to be confirmed.

The overall number of full-time equivalent public enquiry officer posts will be reduced from 61 to 34 as part of the plan.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said: “In the current financial climate the force needs to make challenging decisions around how we best use our resources to benefit our communities.

“We are required to make difficult decisions in order to maintain visibility and maintain front line policing whenever possible.

“The force has carried out a review of how the public contact police in Devon and Cornwall and it has shown that the amount of people physically calling at a police station continues to diminish.

“In even our busiest stations this can be as low as five to six people an hour at peak times and for quieter stations can be no personal callers at all for periods of time.

“As a result, we will now formally consult with staff unions regarding how we use public enquiry offices to get the best value from the resources that we have.

“The force currently receives around one million contacts a year from the public via 999, 101 and contact with the Force Enquiry Centre and force website. This number far outweighs the amount of people actually attending a police station.

“With the development of online communication and further investment in technology, it is only likely to reduce further.”

ACC Netherton added: “While we may be reducing the amount of Public Enquiry Offices immediately accessible to the public, the number of operational police stations is not changing and police officers and staff will still work from those stations affected by the Public Enquiry Office Review.

“While closing some enquiry offices has an inevitable effect on staff and a change in the way we operate as a Force, the considerable savings are expected to be in excess of £ 750,000 per year and the force is faced with making difficult decisions about the way in which we deliver services to our communities.

“Maintaining a visible presence in our communities remains a critical factor and we will do everything possible to target resources and achieve this. It is hoped this review will further allow us to increase visibility away from traditional police sites.

ACC Netherton further added: “Innovation is key and having a more mobile police presence means a better, more efficient and visible police service.

“We are committed to maintaining community based services and working with partner agencies to do this in the most efficient way possible.

“It is important to emphasise that this plan is subject to full consultation with a definitive decision expected in July.”

Following consultation the changes, if given the go ahead, would take place later in the year.

Other News Stories

10:08

A Seaton family has raised more than £1,600 for two charities with a fundraising evening.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:44

A former Sidmouth College pupil has snapped up a blink and you will miss role in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Pupils at The Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis, performed Little Shop of Horrors. Teacher Simon Ransome-Williams submitted his review.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:30

Sean James, 45, was among the extras for Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:30

Baker Estates want to build the homes - the first phase of a 300-home development - on land between Honiton and Gittisham.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Next Tuesday, Devon County Council’s scrutiny committee will decide whether to use its power to refer the decision of the NEW Devon Clinical Commission Group (CCG) to close all in-patient beds in Seaton, Honiton and Okehampton hospitals to the Secretary of State for Health.

Read more
Wed, 17:30

The day was run by Ruth Worsley of the Legacy to Landscape project assisted by Samantha Knights, a parent who runs the school garden club, and project volunteer Sue Mattock.

Read more
Wed, 17:11

Keith Rose, 68, who was convicted of the 1981 murder of Juliet Rowe, has taken his case to the High Court

Read more
Wed, 16:00

The offence happened at a property on Musbury Road on Friday, June 9, where the victim’s purse was taken containing bank cards.

Read more
Wed, 14:30

Cllr John Zarczynski said applicant ContainerSpace Ltd’s proposed scheme was ‘totally unsuitable’ and said if approval was granted, the resulting development would cause ‘chaos’.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications