It comes as Alison Hernandez is set to announce that six new locations, of which five are in Devon and one in Looe, are set to reopen their enquiry desk, which comes on the back of successful reopenings in Newquay, Penzance, Bude, Falmouth, Truro in Cornwall as well as Tiverton, and Newton Abbot in Devon.
The desks were closed amid the financial impact of the 2009 financial crisis, with subsequent budgets from the UK Government forcing police constabularies to close their public-facing desks to save money.
However, amid a £1.5m investment in the project to reverse those cuts, Looe is set to once again be open to the public for six days a week.
The Commissioner says she has made connectivity with the public a cornerstone of her Police and Crime Plans, arguing that face to face contact with the public helps victims and provides a long-term solution to rebuilding confidence in policing.
Ms Hernandez said: “Thanks to investment from our residents Devon and Cornwall Police now has record police officer numbers. Having accessible police stations close to our communities is the missing part of the jigsaw in providing the neighbourhood model of policing that the Chief Constable and I support.
“Although we experience some of the lowest crime levels in the country, drugs and antisocial behaviour are considerable issues for our communities. We want people to feel confident in telling us about the problems and challenges they experience before these issues escalate so preventative action can be taken.
“Already crimes including non-recent historic offences have been reported at one of our reopened police enquiry desks, demonstrating that some people prefer talking to an officer in confidence and in person.”
“There is an immediate positive effect of having these stations back open to the public for these communities. But this is more than that – it’s about making a long-term commitment to the people of Devon and Cornwall. We want to let them know that the police are by their side, accessible and care about their problems.”
Chief Constable Will Kerr said: “I am delighted we are able to reopen these offices. I believe that providing the public with opportunities to speak to the police face-to-face is essential to building trust and confidence in our communities.
“Devon & Cornwall Police has always prided itself on its community style of policing and for many people, including some of the most vulnerable in our society, offering the opportunity for face-to-face contact will increase the chance of engagement and, as a result, offer a greater opportunity for intervention and support.
“Coming after a time of isolation as a result of the global pandemic, the reopening of these public enquiry desks represents a reconnection with our communities; we are reopening our doors and providing a safe place for anyone to be able to come to us and ask for help.
“Public enquiry offices are incredibly important – they increase our accessibility, provide reassurance and help in building trust in our communities.”
Rural or coastal locations which see dramatic increases in population during the summer months are among those selected for investment.