With officers and members of the community at Honiton Police Station, one of the locations where a police enquiry office is being reopened
Devon and Cornwall Police’s tactic to supress the antisocial behaviour (ASB) and drug dealing that is an issue for too many of our communities is called Operation Loki. This has been really successful in a few parts of the force area so far this year.
Now it is up and running in East Devon, a patch I visited last week to check out the Honiton Police Station’s Police Enquiry Office. It is one of 17 across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly I am reopening with investment from our community.
Op Loki has been run across the force, with Torquay, Exeter, Barnstable, Plymouth, Truro, Falmouth, Sidmouth, Honiton and Axminster benefitting from it so far this year. It is due to hit Tiverton, Cullompton, Crediton and Exmouth later this month.
Residents and holidaymakers will see officers carry out foot patrols, as well as mobile patrols in marked police vehicles during the period of intensification. They will focus their efforts on specific locations where ASB is a problem or issues have been reported to them.
This has been a joint effort with neighbourhood teams joined by officers from the Devon & Cornwall Police Professional Development Unit, members of the Special Constabulary, colleagues from Roads Policing and the Prevent and Detect Team.
Police have been working with Youth Intervention Officers, homeless outreach staff and councillors who form part of the Community Safety Partnership.
It is vital we work with partners in this way to make sure that we reach those people in vulnerable groups who may be at risk of becoming involved in criminal behaviour. If you see the officers out and about please come and say hello to them and let them know how they can help you.
Dangerous and nuisance driving is a concern for so many of our communities, and recent tragedies have brought this issue to the fore.
Officers deployed in Seaton and nearby villages under Op Loki have been focused on this issue. Several vehicles were checked with the help of Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems one evening and three people were stopped and dealt with for drugs possession.
The next day two vehicles were seized for having no tax, seven motorists were reported for vehicle and document defects and there were several stops for suspected driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs resulting in two arrests. At least 30 motorists were detected for speeding through Sidford.
On the weekend of July 29 patrols were stepped up in Honiton and a specialist undercover team arrested someone for driving whilst being unfit through drugs, having no insurance and being in possession of a class B drug. Enquiries found they were also a disqualified driver.
The local neighbourhood police team stopped a motorist for having no insurance and no driving licence and another vehicle was seized as that motorist also had no driving licence. Two people were searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act and a vulnerable person was located and escorted home with the appropriate referrals to support agencies being made.
On Sunday, July 30, police in Axminster searched a motorist and their vehicle which led to cocaine, cannabis, money and phones being seized. An arrest was made for drug driving, possession with intent and possession of an offensive weapon. The car was seized. A separate vehicle was seized after it was discovered the driver had an expired driving licence.
Activity like this might have you thinking our part of England is a hotbed of crime, but it is precisely because of this work that Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have become the safest places to live, work and visit in England & Wales according to the latest Government crime data.
My mission is to continue to work with the force and partners to make sure Op Loki gives way to a method of policing which sees officers visible in our communities all year round.