Hello! It's this time of the month again, I hope you find these updates from my office useful.
April and the Easter holidays is always a busy time for us down in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as we start to see our population swell. This year was certainly no exception after the fabulous easter bank holiday sunshine we had.
Some of you may have seen the Chief Constable and I launched a joint campaign for extra funding to help cope with the estimated 11 million visitors we have every year.
We have had some very positive conversations with the Home Office in the last few weeks and I look forward to updating you all on the process in due course.
Read more about the challenges of summer policing and why we need additional funding below.
Call for more cash to keep Devon and Cornwall safe this summer
Devon and Cornwall’s Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner are hoping to secure extra funding to deal with an anticipated rise in visitors to the area sparked by Brexit.
Alison Hernandez and Shaun Sawyer are in talks with the Home Office after writing to Policing Minister Nick Hurd. They pointed out that the force is only paid to manage its resident population and not the estimated 11 million visitors who take trips to Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly each year.
Research by the PCC’s office shows that the number of road traffic collisions, calls to police and arrests rise sharply in the tourist season.
Even discounting the summer population spike the force receives well below average funding, at 49p per head of population, when the national average is 57p per day, a situation Mr Sawyer describes as unfair to residents of the two counties.
The PCC and Chief Constable want the Government to issue a special grant to address the summer policing challenge and recognise the force’s general underfunding in the imminent Comprehensive Spending Review. The special grant fund is a Home Office initiative that helps police forces deal with unexpected or exceptional events within their area.
Alison said: “Police numbers in Devon and Cornwall are rising, but that’s because with the consent of people in Devon and Cornwall we have increased the police precept that our residents pay.
“Uncertainty over Brexit has already been credited for bringing more tourists to our part of the world and everything indicates that we are in for an exceptionally busy summer.
“That’s good news for our economy but presents us with a policing challenge which I am pleased that the Government seems open to discussing.”
More information is available on our website.
Rangers find a way to have a positive impact
Student rangers and adult volunteers planting trees at Burrator Reservoir
Mainstream education doesn’t work for everyone, we know that. But what happens later down the line? A lot of children who find themselves outside the school system end up with few qualifications, can’t find work and are then more vulnerable to becoming exposed or drawn into criminal activity.
Wider society then has a part to play in helping them to engage with training, education or employment and here in Devon and Cornwall my office is very much involved.
One project the office is incredibly pleased to be able to support is a fantastic new initiative in Tavistock where the college, alongside Devon and Cornwall Police and the South West Lakes Trust (SWLT), is trying to get ahead of the curve. Small groups of 11-16 year olds who are not engaging in mainstream education are taking part in a Student Rangers project where they learn valuable and practical life skills.
Find out more >
Unique challenges of policing the peninsular
Read Alison's blog about the good work being done to tackle exploitation and drug dealing in our counties.
Read more >
See more news from the OPCC
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