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News Archive > General > Increased police means fast response

Increased police means fast response

By Natasha Swift 12th July 2017

Increased police means fast response
Some of the new officers

THE uniformed presence in St Austell is now back up to full capacity and already making a difference to fighting crime on the town’s streets, after a period of being understaffed.

In March the Voice revealed how the Devon and Cornwall force had been advertising for transferees from other parts of the country who wanted to work in the area.

At the time, St Austell police inspector, Ed Gard described the move as a “light at the end of the tunnel”, after struggling with dwindling resources.

Following a recruitment freeze, which was placed on Devon and Cornwall Police around 18 months ago due to Government cuts, the sector now has an extra nine police officers on the street.

Mr Gard said the new transferees had already made a huge difference to his team and he was able to respond to incidents quicker.

Last week a fight broke out in the town centre at 2.45pm and police officers were immediately on the scene.

Mr Gard said this would not have happened 12 months ago when his numbers were down.
He told the Voice: “I’m not convinced that response would have been as good 12 months ago with the few numbers we had.

“It is a really positive thing and increases our strength and numbers to assist and enable us to respond quickly and more efficiently and effectively to incidents.”

Mr Gard said the transferees had come in two cohorts and were now all bedded in.
One of the new police officers is Karen Perry, 45, who transferred from South Wales where she covered Cardiff City Centre in April.

PC Perry, who has been in the police for 20 years and also worked in New Zealand, told the Voice she was finding St Austell different to her old patch, but enjoying it.

She explained: “I have gone from working in a very busy, small city patch to being in a busy area that covers both rural and the town.

“The people here have been so friendly and welcoming.”

Also joining the St Austell policing team in April was 31-year-old Martyn Newitt, who has transferred from Surrey, but is originally from Plymouth.

He said: “I wanted to come back to the west country. I had to move to Surrey to join the police as it was the only force taking on at the time.

“It’s different and I am covering a larger area. I am enjoying it.”

PC Newitt said residents had been nothing but welcoming while he had been out and about on patrol.

By Natasha Swift 12th July 2017

Andrea Gray 13th July 2017 10:34
Is that an extra 9 officers for St Austell only or for the entire D&C sector?
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