The Kingsbridge Police Enquiry Office was officially opened this morning (February 21) in front of a gathering that included local politicians, police officers and even students from Kingsbridge Community College.

The blue ribbon was cut by the town’s Mayor Cllr Philip Cole at the invitation of Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Alison Hernandez.

Cllr Cole said: “We’re thrilled frankly to have this police station re-open.

“It’s been closed for about ten years and the one thing that everyone in town has always said to us is we’d really love to have the police station open again.

“On top of that our current police Sergeant, Pete Shotton, has re-instigated the bobbies walking the beat and it makes people feel safe.’

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said: “I think the people of Kingsbridge would never have thought we would have re-opened this front desk as it is one of the lowest crime areas in Devon and Cornwall but it’s quite an isolated community and they do look after themselves, they’re very resilient but we still have crime here.

“I think for me, being able to say the police are here, they’re on your side and there’s a tangible investment in your community, especially as you’re paying more in your council tax, you can actually see what the money is being spent on.”

Liberal Democrat County Councillor and Leader of South Hams District Council Cllr Julian Brazil said: ”Well obviously we welcome the re-opening. It’s good the public can now see the face of the police and that’s good news but it is a re-opening, I think they closed in 2014.

“In the meantime what we pay for policing has around doubled for council tax payers, we haven’t got the actual policing we were promised here in Kingsbridge, the Chief Constable’s been suspended, the force is in special measures, we’ve just had a report about how they’re dealing with violence towards women and girls which is terrible. “I’ve got a place in Kingsbridge that illustrates this only too well and rather than spending a million pounds running a Police and Crime Commissioner’s office we’d like to see more police on the beat.

‘’I’ve yet to see what the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office is about beyond being some glorified PR exercise.

Operations Manager for the police enquiry offices in Devon and Cornwall Sarah Herbert explained her job: “I oversee the operations on a day-to-day basis to make sure all our staff are trained and help with recruitment as well so I make sure all the staff behind the front desk are trained and bring all their experience with them. We’ve got ex police officers, people from the community, ex teachers and they are all available to give that face-to-face input.

“My team will help with the digital demand and e-mails that come into the force which frees up our control room staff to take 999 and 101 calls.

The police inquiry desk in Ivybridge is set to open soon.