Today I had the opportunity to highlight the furore over the proposed move of St Ives and Hayle’s popular police Sgt Mike Friday to press the Home Secretary for greater support for frontline police services.
Last week Devon and Cornwall’s Police & Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez (pictured) hosted a public meeting in St Ives to see for herself the strength of feeling over the possible removal of Sergeant Mike Friday’s current role as a neighbourhood sergeant.
The proposal has been met with widespread disapproval in Hayle and St Ives with around 5,000 people signing a petition calling for him to continue in his current position and many others paying tribute to him on the Facebook page Saving Sergeant Friday (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1663536700638392/).
In Devon and Cornwall we are seeing valued frontline police officers moved to what can only be described as 'back office’ roles. In my view these decisions, made in Exeter, against local opinion, demonstrate the failure of decision-makers within Devon and Cornwall Police to understand the importance of neighbourhood and community policing.
I have asked the Minister to outline what support the Government can offer neighbourhood police officers and support staff so that their roles can continue.