What you asked our police chiefs
QWhat are you doing about the growing levels of disorder and drunkeness in the city centre at night?
A(CE) We have a well-developed policing plan for late night drinking in the city centre which is targeted at hotspots and areas where we can anticipate large numbers of people present. Our focus is to keep people safe and to deal with any incidents of crime and disorder that occur. Statistics show a reduction in violence in the last 12-months across Exeter, East and Mid Devon.
QIs there anything that can be done to prevent people speeding through our streets, not just youngsters but older drivers in big cars?
A(JG) We use a number of initiatives including community speed watch and the special constables. We are also increasing our use of our traffic police to tackle speeding.
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QWhat are you doing to tackle the rising use of cocaine, which is a big problem with university students?
A(MR) Across the locality, we run targeted operations such as Pubs Against Drugs where such activity is addressed. We work specifically with the university and the Students' Guild to highlight both drugs and other safety issues with the students. We regularly act upon information around drug supply which lead to the execution of raids and arrests.
QWhat was the mood like at Exeter police station when the biscuit tin was stolen? Has an adequate replacement been found? In all seriousness, how many doughnuts does an average policemen get through on an average day?
A(CE) Thanks for your question … on average officers consume one doughnut per day as part of their staple diet!! The loss of the biscuits resulted in officers averaging two on the following day.
QWhen will the Burnthouse Lane Lidl be made to have CCTV. I'm sick of being stoned by 10-year-olds.
A(JG) We are aware of the problems in this area and we are currently addressing this, implementing key safety measures such as increased patrols to impact on anti-social behaviour. Offenders will be addressed robustly.
QWhen is Heavitree Road police station closing and where will you have a presence in the city centre once it does?
A(CE) There are some proposals around redeveloping the site at Middlemoor which has been in the press recently, but no decisions have yet been made regarding the future of Heavitree. This will be linked to the outcome around Middlemoor and in any event, I'm keen to ensure we have a presence in the city centre.
QWhy do we so rarely see a police officer on street patrol, other than the city centre?
A(JG) A visible presence is important and we work hard to ensure officers are available and visible to the public at the most important times. We have focused our PCSOs on providing visibility, while PCs are more targeted towards responding to calls for assistance and keeping people safe.
QWhen are the police going to stop cyclists riding on paths?
A(MR) Thanks you for highlighting this issue. While we can't comment on individual cases, we will take this issue away and ask the local neighbourhood teams to take a look at them.
QWhat is the current situation regarding the turning off of the street lights at night?
A(JG) My understanding is that Devon County Council are still reviewing the situation. My view is lighting can enhance community safety but if used, should be targeted where it has the greatest impact.
QI'm concerned about visible drug use and dealing in the city centre and Old Tiverton Road area, and the surrounding streets. This has been going on for years and is obvious to everyone who lives in the area. Why haven't you done more to tackle it?
A(ALL) We take drug dealing and drug abuse very seriously. We will make sure that this is passed on to the relevant police team.
QWhat's your view on the claim culture that has seen officers suing members of the public after being injured responding to an emergency call?
A(JG) Police officers are here to serve the public and help them when they are most in need. Our values are about public service and by the nature of the job, officers often have to take risks and make risk-based decisions. Officers are trained and equipped to enable them to carry out their job as safely as possible. I take a dim view of these sorts of civil actions.
Q I would like to know what are police doing about homeless people drinking on streets and asking people for money and getting angry?
A(MR) The city centre police team are working with partners to address the ongoing issue about homelessness which is a real issue for some people in the city. There is also an issue around begging and on-street drinking which policing teams are fully aware of and are working with other agencies to address.
QPolice officers in marked cars don't seem to enforce traffic regulations any more. I've watched them ignore parking on hazard lines by crossings, speeding, cars jumping red lights etc – it just seems like they are not aware of what is going on around them!
A(MR) We would like to think that our officers are vigilant to these concerns and do take appropriate action when dealing with these situations. We work in partnership to reduce death and serious injury on our roads. We know that speeding, use of mobile phones and alcohol are all key contributors and we undertake enforcement operations around these issues.
QWhere in Exeter and East Devon is considered the worst for crime by the police? Burnthouse Lane?
A(ALL) In the last 12 months, crime has reduced by five per cent in Exeter, East and Mid Devon. In terms of crime volume, Exeter has roughly the same amount of crime as East and Mid Devon and our staff are spread across the patch to meet the demand. The nature of crime varies.
QIs it true the public can wee in your hats?
A(ALL) There is an archaic law suggesting what is/isn't allowed around this topic. See Wikipedia for the full article!
A second webchat with the police will be held on Thursday, June 13, between 12-2pm.