Proper copper’ David Lea leaving

POLICING in Budleigh Salterton is set to change. It was revealed this week that the neighbourhood beat manager is about to leave, writes Becca Gliddon.

POLICING in Budleigh Salterton is set to change. It was revealed this week that the neighbourhood beat manager is about to leave, writes Becca Gliddon.

Exmouth's police chief, Inspector Jez Capey, exclusively told the Journal that plans were in motion to find a replacement beat officer to tackle the town's crime.

Inspector Capey denied rumours the town's station was to close - saying he believed the whispers were being fuelled by the forthcoming staff change.

"It's probably Chinese whispers about the station," said Inspector Capey. "People have probably heard Budleigh Salterton's policeman is going. But we are keeping the police station.

"It's likely there will be a move fairly imminently and we will be seeking to get a quality replacement as soon as we can."

It is thought PC David Lea is leaving his current post because he is moving out of the area.

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It is believed he will remain as an officer within the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary once he relocates.

PC Lea has been Budleigh's neighbourhood beat manager since August 2008, when he took over from PC Kim Chapman, who retired after serving the town for nine years.

Inspector Capey said: "PC Lea's move is down to welfare reasons and has been fully supported by myself."

A colleague of PC Lea, who did not wish to be named, said: "I have worked with Dave for many years, within many different departments.

"I have always found him to be the consummate professional.

"His dedication to policing in this area will be sorely missed. He's a proper copper.

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