A FORMER Newquay inspector has once again been chosen to lead the resort's police force – more than two years after he was ousted from the role.
Dave Meredith will take up the reins from Ian Drummond-Smith, who has been promoted to chief inspector in Plymouth.
His removal as the town's inspector in March 2010 sparked outrage from community leaders, who supported his tough stance on the night-time economy.
But at the time, police chiefs denied the decision to move Mr Meredith into a different role within the constabulary had anything to do with his views on the licensed trade.
He has spent the past two years as a response inspector in east Cornwall.
Mr Meredith vowed to continue the work of Mr Drummond-Smith, who was widely applauded for his 'no nonsense' approach to antisocial behaviour and issues linked to the town's late-night drinking culture.
He said: "I am delighted to be going back to Newquay where I have previously worked as a patrol sergeant, neighbourhood team leader and sector inspector – a position I held when Newquay Safe was created in 2009.
"My predecessor Inspector Ian Drummond-Smith achieved considerable success during his time at Newquay and I would like to assure residents, partner agencies and businesses that the police will continue its commitment to delivering the very best police service to the town and surrounding area."
News of Mr Meredith's return has been welcomed by community representatives in the resort.
Geoff Brown, Cornwall councillor for the Newquay central division, said: "I am sure that Inspector Meredith will follow on seamlessly with [Mr Drummond-Smith's] no-nonsense style of policing. It is my belief that the people of Newquay can feel confident that their safety and protection remains in safe hands."
Anti-lap-dancing campaigner Tracy Earnshaw added: "Newquay is a unique town with a unique set of challenges. Dave Meredith understood this, and he also understood how to respond to those challenges. He is an experienced, dedicated and hardworking officer, which is what Newquay needs."
Chief Superintendent Julie Fielding, police commander for Cornwall, said: "Inspector Meredith is an experienced officer in Newquay.
"I am sure he will soon renew his acquaintance with our colleagues in the Newquay Safe Partnership and do all he can to continue the excellent progress that has occurred in making the town a safe and enjoyable place to be."
Historically the sector inspector for Newquay was also responsible for Bodmin and Wadebridge, but the boundary review now means he will only look after Newquay, St Columb Major and the surrounding areas.
Mrs Fielding said the reorganisation would help make Newquay a safer place to work, live and socialise.
She said: "This reduction of geographic responsibility is excellent news for the town as it will allow the sector inspector to spend more time, and concentrate his efforts on, dealing with the communities' issues."