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'Police restructure is nothing to fear'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 07, 2012

NO CONCERNS: Police changes – Councillor Lance Kennedy says Bodmin has nothing to fear.

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PEOPLE in Bodmin should not be alarmed about the latest policing restructure which will see a single inspector responsible for beat officers in towns as far away as the Devon border, says a Cornwall councillor.

Bodmin East ward member Lance Kennedy, who is the local authority's portfolio holder for community safety and public protection, said the changes could work in favour of his town, with the new police chief no longer having responsibility for Newquay, where crime levels are far higher.

The latest police changes will see an inspector in charge of neighbourhood policing stretching from Bodmin to Bude and Launceston.

Mr Kennedy, a former police officer, believes fears that Bodmin will not be policed properly are largely unfounded, although he admitted the loss of more police officers across Cornwall and Devon was worrying.

"Inspector Ian Drummond-Smith was covering Bodmin, Wadebridge and Newquay, resulting in him spending the majority of his time in Newquay,'' said Mr Kennedy.

"The new system covering Bodmin, Bude and Launceston will give the inspector a much better balance of his or her time, given the relevant population and crime figures,'' he said, adding that the new police chief may even be based in Bodmin.

Mr Kennedy said hundreds more police jobs being cut in the next three years in Cornwall and Devon should be the real concern of residents.

"The loss of police officers is putting an unfair burden on the remaining staff, some of whom, like the PCSOs, are being asked to perform duties they are neither trained nor qualified for. It is of the utmost importance that we play our part, we must get involved by reporting incidents and crimes, making sure the police get the information they need to deal with trouble-makers.''

Mr Kennedy added: "Bodmin is still one of the safest and quietest places in Cornwall, a far cry from when I was first stationed here.

"The majority of our police do their best to preserve the peace and protect the public, it is the officers on the street that are most important not where a supervisor is stationed.''

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