Kingsbridge police station’s front desk is reopening after being shut for almost a decade, as part of a £1.5 million initiative to reverse closures that occurred during the period of austerity after the 2009 financial crash. 

This means that people who require police assistance will be able to access face-to-face contact, which is essential in ensuring the public receive the help they need and feel confident in their police force.

The office, which is due to open before Christmas, will have opening hours of 10-3 from Mondays to Saturdays, and police staff are currently being recruited to take on behind-the-desk roles.

A meeting was held on Tuesday August 1 to discuss the opening with the Kingsbridge Mayor, Cllr Philip Cole, Peter Shotton and Town Councillors Mel Rollinson and Barrie Fishman.

Alison Hernandez , Police and Crime Commissioner, explained that this is part of a phased opening of front desks in police stations across Devon and Cornwall, such as in Devonport, Looe, Plymouth, and Torquay.

She expressed hopes that these openings will change attitudes towards police: “Nationally I think public confidence in policing has dropped with some of the terrible things that police have been seen to have done.

“In particularly there’s lots of stories nationally, from murders of women, to corruption in policing.

“The 101 phone calls across the country are challenging, they’re not being answered quickly, people don’t think their crimes are being taken seriously, they’re not getting a quick enough response.”This is a move in a positive direction, which will see more police staff and hopefully more trust in the police from the public.

The move means there is due to be 3110 members of police staff in Devon and Cornwall which is a ‘record number’. 

Alison continued: “Every type of service and industry is moving away from face to face (interaction) because they think that everything is going to be online, but when you’re distressed, something you really need is to be reassured that someones heard you and that they’re taking it seriously…. I think the fact that we’re doing the opposite of what people would say is customer service in the ‘new world’ shows that the type of work we do is important.”

“I want to thank the Kingsbridge community because you are one of the lowest crime areas in the whole of Devon and Cornwall and thats thanks to the community not tolerating it.”

“This is about public reassurance... but it can also be used to give intelligence to the police about things that are going on in their community that they’re worried about.” 

She continued: “This is a really old fashioned, traditional police station and its an absolute joy to be able to open it up.”