Police cuts: Under-age drink operation could suffer

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 February 2011

SUCCESFUL OPERATION: L-R Sgt Andy Turner, PC Dave Wallace and PC Steve Lemon pour away seized booze after another Operation PIVA success. Photo by Terry Ife

SUCCESFUL OPERATION: L-R Sgt Andy Turner, PC Dave Wallace and PC Steve Lemon pour away seized booze after another Operation PIVA success. Photo by Terry Ife

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A SUCCESFUL police crackdown on under-age drinkers in Sidmouth could suffer in the long-term as a result of constabulary cuts set for May.

A SUCCESFUL police crackdown on under-age drinkers in Sidmouth could suffer in the long-term as a result of constabulary cuts set for May.

Sergeant Andy Turner told town councillors last week that maintaining the high standard of a dedicated initiative like Operation PIVA would be “almost impossible” when the force loses 700 officers.

Devon and Cornwall Police will undergo a major re-vamp which will come into effect on May 20.

“PIVA has almost been a living operation that has changed year by year. We won’t have the resources to do that in the long term,” PS Turner told the Herald.

“Work we’ve done before is not going to be as easy to achieve with 700 less officers.

“I’m sure Operation PIVA will still continue, but not in the way we’ve done it in the past,” he added.

The Herald reported last week how the front office at Sidmouth police station will shut in the first week of May after its enquiry officer of 17 years, Debbie Hollamby, was successful in gaining voluntary redundancy.

PS Turner said he hadn’t heard any news on the future of the town’s Temple Street police station in relation to rumours it could be sold.

He said it was likely officers could parade at “response hubs” in Hontion, Exmouth and Collumpton before being allocated to patrol areas like Sidmouth- but nothing had been confirmed.

“We’re moving away from geographical policing- it’s a big cultural change for us,” said PS Turner.

He said immediate changes were positive, and will see more police on the streets, but added: “Long-term, we’re going from an exceptional service to one that is diminished by a lack of numbers.”

PS Turner added: “I’m unsure of my future, I don’t know if I’ll remain as Sidmouth team leader.”

He said Sidmouth’s PCSOs are not under threat from cuts.

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