New PC heading to Ottery

Inspector Antonia Weeks

Inspector Antonia Weeks - Credit: Archant

Ottery’s neighbourhood police team will welcome a new officer in the coming months but there are no plans ‘at this time’ for a new PCSO.

Inspector Antonia Weeks has announced PC Claire Dye will start shortly, joining the current team of PC Paul Vaughn and PCSOs Steve Trail and Jack Stannard.

She wrote to the town council to address policing provision in Ottery and said along with the addition of PC Dye, there was no replacement for PCSO Maria Clapp.

Inspector Weeks said: “The response from the chief constable explains the need to develop an operational model that meets the demand around how we manage threat, risk and harm and safeguard the most vulnerable in our community. Locally I need to utilise the resources I have as effectively as possible while we move towards this position.

“There are no plans for an additional PCSO at this time.”

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The team, which is lead by Sergeant Richard Stonecliffe and Inspector Weeks, will work with officers in Exmouth to cover both towns, West Hill, Cranbrook, Feniton, Broadclyst and surrounding villages.

Insp Weeks said: “Ottery St Mary area remains a low crime area, however the population is increasing particularly in the western part of the area and Cranbrook. For that reason we are ensuring our staffing levels remain sufficient to meet the demand and we have a number of new officers joining the response teams at both Exmouth and in Exeter over the coming months.”

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The town council agreed at a meeting last week to write a letter to the inspector asking for confirmation following suggestions the town would get a new PCSO.

Councillor Roger Giles suggested writing a letter of protest as it would be an ‘absolute disaster’ if PCSO Clapp was not replaced.

The PCSO stood down in August after 15 years of service to the town.

Cllr Giles said: “If that is the case and Maria isn’t going to be replaced, I think we should make a big protest about that because of all the people in the community the one who worked the hardest and most effectively, got the most respect and did most more than anyone was Maria Clapp, in every respect.

“From going into primary schools, engaging with the students in cycling proficiency, you could write pages of it. It would be an absolute disaster if she wasn’t replaced.”

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