One of Devon’s largest towns is to get a new police station, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has said.
Despite Exmouth’s ageing station being slated for closure in 2015 it has remained a base for operational officers.
Now the Station Road site will be redeveloped and a modern facility built for officers and staff. Devon and Cornwall Police and the force estates department, which is run by the Commissioner, will now set up a project team to deliver the new facility.
Commissioner Alison Hernandez said significant increases in police officer numbers, and a desire from East Devon residents for a policing base to remain in the town, had prompted her and the Chief Constable to look again at the issue.
“Exmouth is a very significant town in Devon. Like many other coastal communities in our force area it sees significant rises in population in the summer months and the hard working officers and staff who serve that community need a base that’s fit for 21st Century policing,” she said.
Part of the existing site will be sold to finance the new station, and the team tasked with designing the new building will ensure that designs include an area for face-to-face contact between the force and the public.
In the past two years police stations in Liskeard, Barnstaple and Exeter have been replaced as part of the Commissioner’s multi-million-pound modernisation programme, with the majority of contracts going to building firms in Devon and Cornwall.
A pilot project is due to trial the reintroduction of public contact spaces at Tiverton Police Station. Newquay Police Station has also been reopened to the public, more reopenings are due to follow and we the force has extended the opening hours of existing police station front desks.
“We know that when people have contact with Devon and Cornwall Police their confidence in policing grows,” she said.
“I want to ensure that as we work towards a target of record numbers of police officers across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, that residents have the opportunity to meet and engage with those officers.”
The decision to replace the station was taken in consultation with East Devon’s member of Parliament Simon Jupp.
Mr Jupp said: “Since being elected in 2019, I have been making the case for investment in Exmouth and a new police station is a huge step forward for the town. The current building is an outdated eyesore and I’d like to thank our Police & Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez, for listening to my concerns and backing plans to improve policing in Exmouth and East Devon. A brand new police station will strengthen policing in Exmouth and help to keep our community safe.”
Chief Superintendent Dan Evans, policing commander for North, East and West Devon said: “This is an exciting project that will see a brand new police station built on the current site on Station Road in Exmouth. Exmouth is a busy town with a population that expands during the Summer months and it is right that we maintain a policing presence near to the town centre and sea front. This will provide a modern base for officers and staff who work in our local community.”