Calls for meeting follow Exmouth ‘crime wave’

PUBLISHED: 10:47 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:47 04 December 2017

Exmouth Police Station

Exmouth Police Station

Archant

A spate of vandalism and burglary in Exmouth means police bosses should attend an emergency meeting to answer questions.

That’s the view of Exmouth Town Council, which passed a motion demanding a meeting with Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Alison Hernandez and Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer.

Councillor Pauline Stott said local officers were doing their best, but the top people should be held to account, with recent alleged incidents including vandalism to buses, and a car pushed into the sea.

Cllr Stott, reporting on a recent Community Organisation Liaison Panel meeting, said: “What came out of the meeting was all the vandalism, burglary and damage to people’s property that has taken place in recent weeks and months, and the fact that we’ve only got a couple of police in Exmouth.”

Cllr Stott said Exmouth Police Inspector Antonia Weeks was doing all she could with the available resources, but said bosses should be asked about how the situation compared to other towns.

Following the meeting, Inspector Weeks said officer numbers had recently been boosted, and arrests had been made relating to recent trouble.

She said: “Over recent weeks, police have been dealing with a small group of young people in the town who have been causing problems, mainly anti-social behaviour, shoplifting and vandalism. In addition we have been investigating incidents of criminal damage to the buses on the estuary car park and damage to some commercial properties.

“A number of arrests have been made and we are in the process of putting the cases to the CPS. As a result of police action, the level of offending has reduced. Of note, burglary in the area is 25 per cent down on the previous year.

“Policing numbers are closely aligned to demand and we have had to make some difficult decisions to maintain acceptable service levels within budget.

“However, the recent addition of a number of new officers to the Exmouth area now brings our numbers into line with demand.”

A spokesperson for the Office of the PCC said she would ‘welcome contact’ from Exmouth Town Council, but suggested action be taken through the East and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership local action group.

Chief Inspector for local policing Sarah Johns said: “Both myself and the Devon Commander would be more than happy to attend a council meeting to discuss local policing for Exmouth.”

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