Petition launched to voice Ottery’s objection to PCSO cuts

PUBLISHED: 15:34 03 March 2017

PCSO's Maria Clapp, Steve Trail and Jack Stannard test out Ottery St. Mary's new speed gun. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2606-21-14AW

PCSO's Maria Clapp, Steve Trail and Jack Stannard test out Ottery St. Mary's new speed gun. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref sho 2606-21-14AW

Archant

Residents are being called to use their ‘window of opportunity’ in a new petition to save Ottery’s ‘vital’ PCSOs.

County councillor Claire Wright has launched an online bid to try to save the team by highlighting the work of PCSO Maria Clapp. The petition will be sent to send to Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.

Last month, it was announced that Devon and Cornwall will gain 100 officers, but lose up to 190 PCSOs over the next four years. The chief constable has yet to announce which PCSO roles are to be cut.

Cllr Wright said: “If you want to keep our PCSO, you need to show it. You need to sign and it only takes a few seconds and leave a message about what Maria has done for the town or for you personally.”

Residents who have signed the petition have left messages of support for PCSO Clapp; calling her the town’s ‘visible police presence’ and a ‘great value to the community’.

Brian Nelson, a volunteer of Ottery’s speed watch team, said: “I feel that, if Maria goes, speed watch in Ottery will not get off the ground, because we need more volunteers. I fear that police officers will treat speed watch very low on their priority list.

“It took over two years from when I first volunteered before we could get started, and when speed watch was handed over to Maria, we finally started making some progress.”

Cllr Wright called on residents to share the petition with friends and family living in the area.

She added: “It’s only by people power that we save the things we care about. It doesn’t always work but it does sometimes.”

To sign the petition visit: https://www.petitions24.com/signatures/save_maria_clapp_and_the_otter_valley_pcsos/start/30


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