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190614 | True pressure of summer policing in Cornwall and Devon

True pressure of summer policing in Cornwall and Devon

Published by Emma Carton at 1:28pm 14th June 2019. (Updated at 1:33pm 14th June 2019)

The pressure of policing Cornwall and Devon in the summer and the budget black hole is revealed.

The force says the surge in visitors works out to a population the size of Exeter.

It handled over 1,100 emergency calls one day last July, which is double the usual number.

Officers say government funding is not enough to cover that and they are demanding more money.

What do the figures show?

The two counties and six islands host 40m overnight stays from domestic tourists - 12% of the England and Wales total and more than any other force. In addition, international travellers contribute a further five million stays.

Spread across the year the combined figures mean a population rise of 125,000 people - about the size of Exeter only spread across a wide geography.

The force has noticed a rise in calls for service in recent years during the summer months. On July 7th 2018, it received 1,128 emergency 999 calls - around double the daily average of calls it receives.

The number of incidents reported to police in August rises in several police sectors by more than a third when compared to March. These include Bodmin (32%) Newquay (53%) Penzance and St Ives (34%) and Totnes and Dartmouth (32%).

However, the impact of the visitor influx on policing is felt throughout the year and in communities that have little or no tourist trade as it draws resources from these areas.

The data presented to the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel comes from the Office for National Statistics and uses a three-year average.

"It's fantastic that our tourism sector has enjoyed such incredible success in recent years.

"With its incredible coastline, stunning countryside and outstanding hospitality sector it's no wonder people want to visit us.

"The figures show that the rise in our population begins in April and runs on until October - it's no longer confined to the school summer holidays.

"I want the Government to recognise that we are not funded to police this additional population adequately.

"Locally we've done our bit and our taxpayers have helped to fund a rise of 176 more officers since 2016, now we want a fair deal so that we can secure our place as one of the safest places in the country to live and to visit".

Police and Crime Commissioner, Alison Hernandez

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is applying to the Home Office for a Special Grant to recognise the unique attributes of the Devon & Cornwall force area.

"Because of the geography parts of our patch are extremely isolated.

"For example, it's harder to call in support from other forces than it is for others.

"We also have the largest police force area in England, with some hard to reach communities within it, so we're asking for help to recognise these unique set of circumstances".

PCC, Alison Hernandez

The Special Grant is a £73m Home Office fund designed to help police forces meet additional costs incurred through unexpected or exceptional events.

Several Devon and Cornwall MPs have pledged to support the application after a briefing in Westminster last month and a Home Office advisor has been advising the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on its application.

 

 

via https://www.piratefm.co.uk/news/latest-news/2893849/true-pressure-of-sum...

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