Herald Express - - Letters & Opinion -

When I was quite young my dad chased me from Hilton Road the whole length of King Street (cov­ered in shav­ing soap, my dad that is) for what he con­sid­ered to be an un­truth.

A clip around the ear per­haps, my dad’s strength was in his dis­ap­prov­ing face! re­gion to mount a con­certed lob­by­ing ef­fort to de­mand bet­ter fund­ing from their mostly Tory mas­ters in West­min­ster.

In Torquay, we have seen a col­lapse in the num­ber of com­mu­nity sup­port of­fi­cers from 25 to five.

These of­fi­cers had be­come the grass roots of the ser­vice, un­der­stand­ing com­mu­ni­ties and be­ing able to en­gage with a very pos­i­tive ef­fect with those on the edge of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.

Now, those that re­main are ef­fec­tively fire-brigad­ing and have only a shadow of their for­mer un­der­stand­ing of the com­mu­ni­ties in Torquay.

With a 12% rise in knife crime, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment fig­ures, the case for in­creas­ing com­mu­nity sup­port of­fi­cer num­bers is ir­re­sistible.

Pre­vi­ously, we have re­ceived promises from the chief con­sta­ble and the com­mis­sioner that num­bers would be boosted in the next few months.

It is not clear if we can go back to the com­mu­nity polic­ing lev­els that we need in Tor­bay, but un­less those in power lo­cally de­mand more fund­ing from West­min­ster the lev­els of crime and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour is only likely to go up.

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