Video: Police Chief answers Exeter's questions
Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg has marked his first 100 days in office with a pledge to get out into the community and meet Express and Echo readers.
In a wide-ranging interview among the issues he chose to highlight was the on-going battle run by the University of Exeter Students’ Guild. The Guild is fighting to stop Devon County Council pushing ahead with its decision to turn off street lights in residential areas between 12.30am -5.30am.
Mr Hogg said: “I have already pledged to offer that backing to the students and in giving those issues an airing.
“If the students are fearful we as a community should be concerned about that and look at what is the best solution. We need to look at the best solution whether these involve selective lights and looking at walking routes.”
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Another of his priorities was looking at the issues caused by alcohol related crime but felt it was up to more than just the police to tackle the issue.
He added: “Alcohol is an enormous burden on police resources and the A and E department and is responsible for 50 per cent of violent crime. It is also often a factor in domestic abuse and sexual violence as well. That of course runs on into effects on children.
“It is not for me to say what I think should or should not happen for the community of Exeter, Crediton or Sidmouth. It is for them to decide for their own area what they want and the local councils have the power to decide this and put licensing rules in place. It should not just be left to the police –their job is to enforce those decisions.”
Mr Hogg’s first few months in charge has been focused on employing Shaun Sawyer as permanent chief constable, developing a policing plan and setting a proposed budget. He has rejected a freeze grant from the government to enable him to add 2 per cent onto the council tax that will allow the force to maintain a “base line” of 3090 and avoid what he claimed would be a “disastrous cut”.
He said he is now focusing on getting out into the communities he represents and accepts he still needs to convince many of the value of his role.