Extra police officers will soon be on duty in Sidmouth.

An officer has been seconded to the town’s Neighbourhood Beat Team for the next six months, and a new Police Community Support Officer will be on duty in Sidmouth from late September.

Additional officers will also be joining the Rural East Devon area policing group over the next few months, with a total of around 40 spread around Exeter, East and Mid Devon.

The news was announced today (Wednesday, July 12) following a meeting between Sidmouth Town Council’s chair, vice-chair and clerk and senior police officers: Superintendent Anthony Hart who is responsible for the policing across Exeter, East and Mid Devon, and Sector Inspector Phil Gray who leads the Neighbourhood Policing Teams across Rural East Devon.

At the meeting the police officers also said the online reporting system had been improved and it was vital for people to report incidents so that police are aware of them and can take action.

Inspector Gray said: “I cannot emphasise enough the importance of reporting incidents directly to the police, whether that be speeding, anti-social behaviour or any other criminal activity. By doing this, the incident is logged and the more reports we have of such behaviour/activity the more I am able to request and secure extra resources to address it.

“Quite often members of the public will bring concerns to local councillors who in turn will inform the police, but upon checking police systems, there will be no official record of anyone reporting the problem. This makes it very difficult for me to then direct my resources, when other areas may have seen a number of reports detailing a similar issue or concern but all incidents were logged.

“We quite often hear of the concerns and frustrations that members of the public have when contacting 101 to report incidents and the waiting times to get through. This continues to be addressed by the Chief Constable and improvements have already been made and will continue. I would also urge members of the public to consider using the improved online reporting mechanism which can be accessed using the www.devon-cornwall.police.uk website.”

Cllr Chris Lockyear, chair of Sidmouth Tom Council, said: “It was great to have the attendance of Superintendent Hart and Inspector Gray who both gave an excellent insight into the demands of modern policing. I would urge anyone who has witnessed or been the victim of crime to make sure that they report it.”