Sidmouth to ‘lose half a sergeant’

06:00 10 June 2014

Sergeant Andy Squires joins Sidmouth police force. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW

Sergeant Andy Squires joins Sidmouth police force. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6983-28-13AW

Archant

Town must share respected police leader with Seaton

CUTBACKS will see Sidmouth have to share its respected police sergeant with Seaton.

The news has prompted frustration from civic leaders who had been promised the resort would not be subject to any reduction in officers.

Sergeant Andy Squires told town councillors this week that the post of neighbourhood team leader for Seaton and Axminster is being lost – and he will be stepping into the breach.

Sgt Squires will now focus half his time on the Seaton patch as well as continuing his duties in Sidmouth.

He told the Herald on Tuesday: “I’m going to be dividing my time 50/50 between Sidmouth and Seaton and I will endeavour to inject as much enthusiasm and commitment into Seaton as I have done in Sidmouth.”

Sgt Squires, who has been lauded by the town council for his pro-active approach to tackling issues, told members of the development at their meeting on Monday.

There was discontent from some and the council resolved to express its concern in writing to Devon and Cornwall Constabulary bosses.

Councillor Kelvin Dent said: “We were reassured at a previous meeting that cutbacks would mean no reduction in personnel in Sidmouth. It seems like we’re losing half a sergeant. That does look to me very much like a reduction of police personnel in Sidmouth. I’m not sure we should roll over and accept that. We were given an assurance there wouldn’t be a reduction.”

Sgt Squires will begin his Seaton duties as of June 30.

Honiton’s neighbourhood team manager will now also cover the Axminster area.

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