Officers can't say when the town will get help
The town council has been lobbying for more police to tackle the anti-social behaviour and nuisance and dangerous driving in the town, and a council meeting heard from Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and Chief Supt Jim Colwell about the police’s plans for the town.
A new police office will be built in the town, and more dedicated policing resourcing will be provided, but Chief Supt Colwell said that he could not put a timescale on when.
But he added that in the short-term, further ‘visible resources’ will be deployed in Cranbrook.
He added: “Devon & Cornwall Police are keen to work closely with Cranbrook Town Council to understand their requirements and expectations for local policing, as the town grows in terms of size and population. In particular, current highlighted issues focus primarily on anti-social behaviour and nuisance/dangerous driving and speeding.
“In respect of policing resources for Cranbrook, the town already has a neighbourhood team sergeant, neighbourhood beat manager and police community support officer who all have responsibility for the community.
“As the town grows, it is inevitable that the level of police resources aligned to it will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly. This will be done in line with how the force measures the demand for its services across the entire force area and where possible, dedicated resources for the town will be provided. There is no timescale for this move yet however.
“In the interim, following the representations made at the town council meeting, further visible resources will be tasked to deploy into Cranbrook, in line with the issues highlighted during the council meeting.”
Ms Hernandez said she had been pleased to meet Cranbrook residents and listen to their ideas about policing in the town and that her office did have plans to build a police office in the town.
She added: “My police and crime plan is all about connecting communities so groups can work in partnership with local authorities, police and other organisations to solve problems, and I thought this meeting was a good example of that principle in action.
“I’m keen we help the community to help them keep the town safe. Schemes like Neighbourhood Watch schemes and Community Speedwatch have their place, but so too does enforcement.
“We heard about the high visibility patrols that are taking place in the town and the work to enforce road safety. I’m pleased too that police in the town are holding regular surgeries so residents can make their feelings known to them.
“My office is also planning to build a police office in Cranbrook as part of the town hall development.”
Questions were raised by councillors about the fact that numerous roads running off London Road in Cranbrook are yet to be officially adopted by Devon County Council therefore leaving housing developers responsible for managing them.
This means that Devon and Cornwall Police is unable to enforce speeding restrictions around the town on roads that are unadopted and do not have street lights.
Chief Supt Colwell said he would seek police legal advice regarding the legality of enforcement on adopted and non-adopted roads as well as scoping a possible Community Speedwatch scheme to monitor the roads.
Ms Hernandez also said that the No Excuses Team, which aimed at focussing on the five highest causes of fatal accidents; inappropriate speed, failing to wear a seatbelt, distractions (e.g. using a mobile phone), driving under the influence of drink or drugs and careless or inconsiderate driving, would provide a local presence if asked for.
She also gave her commitment to a police office in the future Tillhouse Centre and assured the town council that while the employment of a Neighbourhood Beat Manager would not be achieved in the short term, the local situation in the interim would be managed.