Inspector responds to Ottery representatives after councillors claim town ‘feels abandoned by police’

Inspector Antonia Weeks

Inspector Antonia Weeks - Credit: Archant

Police have responded to claims that Ottery feels ‘abandoned’ due to a lack of presence in the town.

Councillors have said there is a ‘disquiet’ among residents and that there is an attitude of not reporting incidents.

At a recent Local Action Group meeting, deputy mayor Councillor Ian Holmes told members that representatives had written to senior police figures to express concern.

He said: “It’s really getting quite a serious situation in Ottery.

“We have events there and we have no police support - like late-night shopping; nobody to help out with the traffic control. It is getting quite a concern.

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“It’s the public perception that Ottery has been abandoned as far as policing goes.”

Mark Gerry, from The King’s School, said Sergeant Richard Stonecliffe and his colleagues had been ‘absolutely brilliant’ in addressing concerns about antisocial behaviour.

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He added: “Sgt Stonecliffe and various colleagues were down at the school every day for various periods of time. I would persist because he has been very supportive.”

Cllr Roger Giles expressed disappointment at December’s town council meeting when there was no officer to present a police report.

He called on the council to make the ‘strongest possible protest’ about the police presence at meetings.

In a letter to the town council, Inspector Antonia Weeks said the policing team has seen a reduction in offences in recent weeks.

She added: “We have no crimes recorded recently for the Land of Canaan, although we continue to pay attention to this area as it is where people tend to gather.

“The situation with PCSOs has not changed since I last wrote to you in September after Maria Clapp retired from her post.

“Whilst we are not currently recruiting PCSOs, I am reviewing the distribution of PCSOs across the district and will look at the options available to retain two PCSOs at Ottery. A second police officer was posted to the Ottery neighbourhood team in November.”

Insp Weeks also advised the council to contact the Police and Crime Commissioner for funding for CCTV.

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