Superintendent Toby Davies, LPA Commander North and West Devon to report.
Council received a presentation by Superintendent Toby Davies, Local Police Area Commander for North and West Devon regarding an update on the work of the police in the area. He advised that it had been a challenging past 18 months which include G7 planning and summer policing. There had been a lot of pent up demand during this period. 18 new Police Officers would be in post across the area prior to Christmas, some of these officers were students and others had transferred from other Police force areas. The new officers would located within every sector across the force such as Beat Manager, neighbourhood, responsive and investigative teams. Compared to 2019, the number of calls made to 999 had increased considerably, however the level of crime had decreased by 8%. In terms of crime per head of population, this area had the lowest level of crime in the South West force area. The level of detections was amongst the highest for the area and region. The force had the best detection rates for domestic abuse. The focus for the next 12 months was the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Plan and the Community Safety Partnership. Road safety initiatives would be delivered through the partnership and road policing was being carried out both overtly and covertly. Operation Snap was another initiative where the public could submit dashcam evidence of dangerous driving through the website. The driver would then receive a notice of intention to prosecute. There would be an additional 2 speed detection officers and 2 vans in the North Devon area. If communities were experiencing problems with speeding, the police website included details on how to set up community speed watches. Anti-social behaviour was having a bigger impact on some communities and it was important that it was tackled. The Government was piloting a “Street Aware” campaign where the public could report anonymously areas where they did not feel safe. This evidence would then result in partnerships being developed in those areas to address the issues. Anti-social behaviour needed to be addressed by the police working in partnership with the local authority, health authority, parents etc. The Community Safety Partnership would be tackling those types of issues that were being identified within communities.
There then followed a question and answer session. Superintendent Davies advised that the 18 new police officers would be located across the North and West Devon area. In relation to Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence, the police dealt with all incidents robustly and there was no bias on gender. There were no towns that did not have drugs within communities. From the information provided by communities, the police targeted the most dangerous first. In relation to the police crime reports that were provided to communities, he would look into how this information was presented in future to make sure that it was meaningful. A Rural Affairs team was located in the area who understood the rural area and the importance of neighbourhood watch. The South Molton rural team were very aware of the issues of crime within rural areas. He advised that a joint Crime and Disorder Sub-Committee meeting with Torridge District Council would be held during October and suggested that Councillors attend this meeting. The 101 telephone line was not perfect, however there were other ways to contact the police such as via email.
The Chair thanked Superintendent Davies for attending the meeting and thanked the police for all of their work that they had done over the past 18 months which was appreciated.