Police in Helston have spoken of a "new dawn" as they vowed to form better relationships with the town following a difficult couple of years.

The town council received a surprise visit from Superintendent Adrian Leisk, Local Policing Commander for Cornwall, when they met on Thursday, after a run of issues that led to them demanding information on police coverage in the town in October.

Councillors have been critical in the past over the police response to incidents and not being able to get hold of officers.

Deputy mayor Tim Grattan-Kane, a former senior police officer in central London, even went so far as to say in September that the systems to report crime were "frankly pathetic" and feared that: "Members of the public will take the law into their own hands."

However, Superintendent Leisk told them: "The important message I want to be taken away is I'm really keen on proper connectivity.

"Hopefully this is a new dawn. We have got some significant green shoots with our organisational activity and hopefully that relationship will go back to what it was five or six years ago."

He asked that councillors got in touch when they had a problem and pledged that "in turn we are responsive in a timely fashion."

"My comment whilst I'm here is that your local police will be as connected with you as they have been in the past at least. I want to see how we build better links, so you guys can properly hold us to account.

"We are going to have difficult conversations about when our service might not meet your needs and there might be a good reason - but you won't know that unless we tell you.

"With the loss of frontline officers we shrunk back a little, into our core business - dealing with 999 incidents. Something was going to give and that was probably connectivity," he said.

Referring to the Prime Minister's pledge of another 20,000 police officers over three years - to replace the 20,564 officers shown in Home Office figures to have been lost between March 2010 and March 2019 - he said: "It's a relatively beleaguered frontline service, so we do welcome the government investment.

"We feel like we are coming out of what was quite a difficult time."

Superintendent Leisk said that Falmouth and Helston had a new sector inspector in the form of Inspector Martin Roberts, who he described as "very keen and enthusiastic," adding there were additional neighbourhood managers in both towns, paid for by the council tax precept last year.

PC Marie Moore started in Helston in January, while PC Francis Mitchell joined the team around a month ago.

"When I first came in, Helston and St Ives were the two areas that felt most vulnerable when the cuts came in.

"Helston isn't being forgotten. If anything our policing presence and our connectivity is going to get greater," said Superintendent Leisk.

Mr Grattan-Kane said the reduction in local police had come at the same time as the loss of the MoD police, which had generously provided extra cover in town of an evening.

"The loss of both in the town hit us quite severely," he said.

Superintendent Leisk said Inspector Roberts was speaking with the warrant officer at RNAS Culdrose about how the naval base could continue to support Helston.

Mayor John Martin said: "I think it's been a really positive last six months; we feel there's been an improvement in connection."

Superintendent Leisk agreed: "Things are so much simpler when we're all talking to each other."