Devon and Cornwall Police to receive an extra 141 officers in year one of uplift programme
Devon and Cornwall Police will get more officers than any other force in the south west under the national programme to increase police numbers, it has emerged.
The National Policing Board on Tuesday, October 8, announced what year one of the Government’s officer uplift plan would look like for each of the 43 forces in England and Wales.
In total the officer uplift will amount to 20,000 officers over three years.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Alison Hernandez has welcomed confirmation that the national uplift will allow her force to recruit an additional 141 officers over 18 months.
The uplift for years two and three of the scheme are yet to be confirmed.
Avon and Somerset will receive 137 officers, Dorset will get 50, Gloucestershire will get 46 and Wiltshire will get 49.
In Devon and Cornwall the 141 officers recruited in year one of the scheme will be in addition to the 126 extra officers that has been funded since Alison Hernandez became the Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016.
Police and Crime Commissioner requests Special Grant funds to address ‘summer surge’
MPs from across the south west were united recently (Thursday, September 26) to see policing minister Kit Malthouse accept Devon and Cornwall’s bid for additional funding to help police deal with the impact of millions of summer visitors.
Alison Hernandez headed to Westminster with a delegation of councillors, MPs and police representatives from across the force area to hand in the bid.
Geographically Devon and Cornwall is the largest police force in England and receives more tourists than any other force outside London, yet has one of the lowest police officer densities in the country.
Visitor numbers have boomed in recent years due to the popularity of Westcountry resorts and a low pound.
While tourists bring prosperity to the two counties and islands that make up the force area, there is no direct revenue from this to fund police, who feel the strain of the ‘summer surge’.
Officers and staff struggle to cope with an 11% rise in crime in the months between April and September, a 14% rise in incidents and an 18% increase in missing people.
The Home Office Special Grant fund comprises of £73m which is ‘top-sliced’ from police forces and then used to deal with exceptional or unusual circumstances.
Last year it was used to help Wiltshire Police cope with the Salisbury novichok nerve agent poisoning.
The bid details £17.9m of expenditure over three years that is linked to the ‘summer surge’ and requests compensation for this.
Public sector can do more to reduce road casualties
Alison Hernandez has told public sector employers in the south west that more must be done to reduce road casualties in the region.
Speaking at the Highways England – Driving for Better Business south west regional summit, held in September at police headquarters in Exeter, Ms Hernandez – who is the national PCC lead for road safety – said the region’s employers had a major role to play in keeping the road safe.
Around 70 representatives of public bodies attended the event with the aim of promoting work-related road safety.
Op Snap launch
The launch of Operation Snap in Devon and Cornwall is a fantastic opportunity for members of the public to help make Devon and Cornwall’s roads safer.
Op Snap encourages members of the public to film other drivers undertaking, speeding, crossing white lines, and generally posing a danger to others on the road.
Motorists turning the wrong way, undertaking on a bus lane and a lorry driver narrowly missing a cyclist are just some of the examples of poor driving filmed by members of the public in past 10 days.
In the first week after launch Operation Snap 17 offences were identified, two official warning letters sent and a number of other drivers warned they faced prosecution.
Submit dashcam footage here: bit.ly/2q1sGzs
PCC says Devon and Cornwall force ‘must not be complacent’ as latest crime figures are released
The annual increase in total reported crime was also among the lowest, at 1.3% down from a 4% increase at the end of March 2019.
PCC Alison Hernandez said work to combat organised drug supply was reflected in the figures.