Plans to close the inquiry office at Falmouth Police Station have been defended by the police and crime commissioner who has outlined the reasons in a letter to the town council.

Councillors had expressed their concerns over the proposals and also questioned plans to re-open the office as a coffee shop where residents could report crimes and chat with local officers.

In his response, police and crime commissioner, Tony Hogg, told members: “The financial challenges that we face are likely to continue with reducing central funding and increasing demand for services.

“In order to meet these challenges we will need to be much more innovative and consider radical solutions to the problems that we face. I have tasked the chief constable with finding £12 million of savings for the police budget over the next four years. To do this he needs to review those functions that can be more efficiently delivered by other means.

“I am satisfied that the chief constable's well researched review of police enquiry offices demonstrates that those enquiry offices earmarked for closure are not well used by the public. We all need to accept that the way that most of us deal with the police has changed over the past few years.

“Inspector (Steve) Lenney has clearly fed through the innovative measures being explored in an attempt to provide a point of contact service and I will ensure that the police continue to develop alternative means of improving that contact through more effective face-to-face contact and improved use of technology.

“The savings that will be made from withdrawing this underused service will be a start to enabling us to maintain front line police officers over the next four years.”