From Monday (November 21) the police enquiry office in Newton Abbot will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm, Truro’s will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am to 3pm; Penzance’s will be open Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm and Tiverton’s, which opened two days a week last month, will increase its opening hours from two days a week to six, from Monday to Saturday, open from 10am to 3pm each day.
In early 2023, once staff have completed their training, Truro and Newton Abbot stations will move to six day a week opening.
Newquay’s police enquiry office was the first to be reopened under the programme and Falmouth and Bude public enquiry desks are scheduled to reopen next year.
At front desks the public can report crime, receive prevention advice and meet officers and staff of many different ranks and roles. When not dealing with in-person enquiries, the newly recruited police enquiry officers are able to respond to non emergency contact via the 101 email system, so taking pressure off their colleagues in contact centres and reducing waiting times for the public.
The latest round of openings has created an additional 26 part time jobs.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “I am delighted these stations are now open and to have been able to invest public money back in these communities where it belongs.
“I want these stations to be regarded as places where members of the community can seek advice and reassurance and would urge those thinking of contacting the police via the 101 service to consider whether they could visit one of these stations in person.
“Face to face contact with the force as an essential component of policing and I am keen to reopen more front desks next year.”
While the stations have never been closed for use by officers, staff and volunteers, 12 front desks were shut around Devon and Cornwall in 2014 austerity cuts. A total of £186,000 has been made available from the 2022/23 budget to fund the project.
Superintendent Matt Bourne said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen these front desks to provide another way for members of the public to be able to speak to us. People will be able to report crimes or incidents to our staff, in person, which we know is important to many members of our communities.
“We are pleased to be able to offer people different ways of getting in touch with to be able to support as many people, from all our diverse communities, as possible. The force receives thousands of telephone calls, emails and online reports each year, so front desk staff will also be assisting in answering non-urgent queries which come in via our website when they aren’t helping members of the public who visit a station.”
Station days and opening times can vary so it is recommended that members of the public check the Devon & Cornwall Police website at: www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact/police-enquiry-offices before they attend.