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Commissioner welcomes new drive to crack down on crime in South Devon

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has welcomed the setting up of a new command unit to tackle crime in South Devon.

The force is currently split into basic command units (BCU). This week Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer has announced that an extra BCU is to be set up for South Devon.

The change reflects an increase in demand for policing in Torbay and the wider South Devon area and is in line with the Police and Crime Plan to develop a police force that is connected to communities and able to respond to their needs.

On Friday Alison told a meeting of Torbay Together, a combined committee of educators, NHS experts, businesses and emergency services formed to promote and improve the bay, that she had become increasingly concerned about homelessness and crime in the area, as well as the increasing complexity of crime.

The new arrangement, due to be in place by September, will mean a more senior officer for South Devon and a renewed focus on issues there.

“We’ve been looking with the Chief Constable at where we need to have really strong leadership in terms of policing and it’s been identified that Torbay and South Devon justifies its own BCU,” Alison said.

“It means a new Chief Superintendent for Torbay and South Devon rather than a Superintendent. This shows that there is a serious commitment to tackling specific issues that are happening here.

“The ability to influence policy within the force is greater by having this stronger leadership in place.”

The new focus on law enforcement comes after Torbay Council received £679,785 of central Government support to tackle street homelessness over two years. In the same period Alison’s office has provided an additional £403,150 to fund a community safety partnership in Torbay.

“I’m satisfied that although there are significant problems relating to crime in the bay we have put the funding, and now the structures, in place to work better with partners and the wider community to tackle these issues, this is an excellent example of the Chief Constable better connecting the police with our communities,” Alison added.

“Now we have to all work together, and engage the public’s support, to ensure that South Devon becomes safer, more prosperous and a more pleasant place to work and to visit.”