Falmouth Town Council has said it will oppose “ridiculous” plans to close the town’s police front desk in a letter to be written to South West police commissioner Tony Hogg.
In the letter, copies of which will also be sent to local MP Sarah Newton and to the Home Secretary, councillors will tell Mr Hogg that as the local police commissioner, they expect his support in keeping the station open to the public.
Due to £12m cuts to Devon and Cornwall Police, the public will no longer be able to speak directly to officers in Falmouth, but will instead be required to call 101 for non-emergencies.
Councillor Patricia Minson said: “The public like to have face-to-face contact with a policeman when they need it.
“They need someone in authority they can speak to and not just telephone. You just get fobbed off so it’s not reliable.”
Councillor Rowenna Brock asked what happened if a member of the public needed to see an officer in person, such as to present a driving licence, saying: “It’s no longer a police station, just an office.” She added that when told the nearest office would be Truro or Camborne, she said it was “the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while.”
Councillor Steve Eva said: “We’ve a number of younger generation people in Falmouth.
“Some elderly people are intimidated by them, and one of the things they think they can rely on is having police at their beck and call, police who are there when you need them. You won’t get elderly people phoning 101. We should be 100 per cent against this.”
Councillor Oscar Cramp listed three reasons why the front desk should remain open, as it had an expanding university, a growing number of elderly people, and is Cornwall’s largest town.
He added that the station: “Would be more accessible for people of all ages if it was in the town rather than out in the suburbs.”
Chairing the meeting Councillor Candy Atherton said the closure was due to cuts, which are felt especially hard in Cornwall “as there are no other alternatives.”
She added: “We are the voice of the people of Falmouth, which is an expanding and growing town.”
The council voted unanimously in support of sending a letter to the police commissioner, the local MP and to the home secretary to attempt to prevent the closure.