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Communities are working together and safer than ever – but more to be done

Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez today (Wednesday 9 September) publishes an annual report which shows in great detail the work carried out by her office to help make communities safer.

Communities are working together and safer than ever – but more to be done

Covering a period up to just before Covid-19 took a firm grip of our lives the report explains the path Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly took to record the second lowest* recorded crime per head of population.

It outlines the many ways in which the force has improved its performance but also explains that, while police performance is part of the picture, other factors also contributed.

Key highlights of this are:

  • Providing a budget that allowed force strength to grow by 97 in the reporting period;
  • Initiatives like Safer Towns have brought police together with councillors, residents, health experts and organised groups, resulting in measurable reductions in crime. Penzance and St Austell stand out as good examples;
  • Building on the already successful tri-service safety officer scheme in Cornwall the further creation of new emergency service roles with community responders being deployed in Devon;
  • Brand new police stations in Exeter and Liskeard which opened on time and on budget and provide 21st Century facilities, equipment and technology. Planning has already began for a third, in Barnstaple.

“There is still much to be done,” said Commissioner Hernandez.

“There are many challenges of policing an area that has more domestic visitors than any other yet no additional resource - the criminal gangs that seek to exploit young and vulnerable residents, the hidden crimes which are under-reported, the corrosive effect of violent crime and much-needed reform to reduce reoffending are areas where we and our partners need to focus effort.

“We have spent the last few years building connectivity between organisations and the public they serve to create more resilient communities.

“We, and the people and communities we work with, should now aspire to maintain our position as the safest force area in England and Wales.”

You can read and download the annual report here.

Alternatively you can email OPCC@devonandcornwall.pnn.police to request a copy.

*Figures from the Office of National Statistics. Subsequent figures published by the ONS now show that Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has the lowest crime rate per head of population.