THERE will be ‘no withdrawal’ of police provision, the office of Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner is stressing.
The end of June saw the publication of the current state of estate strategy, which indicates Bude police station will close in 2018-19 with the provision of a neighbourhood team base instead.
Launceston’s is expected to close in 2019-20, but a replacement police station provided, depending upon a review of custody provision in Cornwall, while Holsworthy’s police station, which was originally earmarked for closure in 2016-17 will be retained, with future provision to be considered as part of ‘the north Devon review’.
In Callington, police are now located in a council office, with plans for the former station to be leased. Okehampton could see its police station closing in 2018-19, with provision of a neighbourhood team base instead.
Original planned changes to the police estate were issued in October 2015, and reported on at the time by the Post. At the time, Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith said on Twitter it was hoped a ‘new, efficient replacement station’ would be built in Launceston.
The ‘Devon and Cornwall Police current state of estate strategy’ document, dated June 28, states: “On her election as Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez asked to review the existing estate strategy. It is her aim that wherever the force has a presence that this presence is maintained and she is committed that there will be no degradation of service.
“At the same time the Estates Department is constantly striving to invest in more appropriate and efficient buildings and supporting joint developments with partners where possible.”
A spokesperson for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said the document ‘stresses that there will be no withdrawal of provision’.
Mayor of Launceston Cllr Margaret Young said: “It looks to me as though they are putting forward a plan for a minimum service in the town but I still think there’s got to be a police presence in a town of this size.
“What they have got at the moment is quite a big site. If that’s going to close we need to have a replacement where the public can access the police force — we need a contact point.
“Steve Stoppard, the community police officer, is amazing, he’s so accessible and so proactive and people know him but it’s his personality and perseverance that has made that happen. He goes into all the schools and the children all know him and teenagers know him. It’s because he’s accessible. We do need something in the town of a similar nature.”