Exmouth to get brand new police station
By Will Goddard
13th Jan 2022 | Local News
Just days after Devon and Cornwall's police and crime commissioner ended a public survey into policing it has been revealed that a brand new police station in Exmouth is being planned.
The survey, which closed last Sunday, included questions aimed at gauging support for plans to open more police stations to the public.
When first elected in 2016 Alison Hernandez promised to review the closure of police stations and to improve crime reporting through the 101 non-emergency phone service.
The closure of Exmouth's police station in 2015 was heavily criticised but it has remained a base for operational officers.
It is hoped that the Station Road site will be redeveloped and a modern facility built for officers and staff.
No planning application has been submitted for the new police station yet so building work is unlikely to begin before 2023; nine years after the front desk was first closed.
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.
Ms 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.
The new station will be partly financed by the sale of the existing site but designs are likely to 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 re-openings 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," said Commissioner Hernandez.
"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."
East Devon MP, Simon Jupp welcomed the move and 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."
Full details of the survey into policing in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be presented to members of the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel on Friday 28 January.
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