Ottery Police office in its final week

The town will be losing the ‘face of Ottery Police’ as the front office at the Old Covent closes due to staff budget cutbacks.

Police issued a statement confirming Ottery St Mary Police Station Enquiry Office is to close to the public at lunchtime this Friday.

The desk has been closed due to internal restructuring of staff across the force with identical closures at Seaton, Axminster and Sidmouth police stations, leaving Honiton as Ottery residents’ nearest Local Enquiry Office, more than five miles away.

Officers will continue to be stationed in Ottery and patrol the town, and the public will be able to contact the force by using the blue box on the external wall of the station, or for non emergency enquiries they should call 08452 777 444

The Old Covent premises opened in October 2009, when Tracey Colletti became the town’s first ever civilian clerk as the Local Enquiry Office opened. She said: “Myself and my colleagues are all very sad at the news. We feel the personal and caring service we’ve offered will no longer be available.”

Speaking at the time Sergeant Nick Harper described her as the new face of the local police force. He said: “She will be on hand to deal with people’s front-counter enquiries so it will be easier for people to report crimes and incidents to us as well as deal with lost property and vehicle documents, which have proved difficult in the past.”

But at 12.30pm on Friday, February 18, the office will close after less than 18 months.

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PC Phil Thomas said: “It’s disappointing but Devon and Cornwall Police are looking at ways of making cutbacks and it wasn’t justifiable to keep the front office open.”