Police in Barnstaple respond to public feedback as their latest operation gets underway ​

Sarah Parker
Authored by Sarah Parker
Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 20:51

Police in Barnstaple have begun an operation to tackle local issues of concerns such as drug dealing, speeding motorists and anti-social behaviour.

The Neighbourhood Team, headed up by Barnstaple Sector Inspector Andy Wills, will be carrying out high visibility patrols and using dispersal powers to reassure the public and engage with local people.

The operation began on Monday 18 March and runs for several weeks. Officers in Barnstaple recently issued a survey to gather public views in the town and results show that speeding is the most commonly complained about issue – therefore officers will be responding to the feedback with checks and enforcement in the area.

They will also communicate police activity around the misuse and supply of controlled drugs and provide a visible presence to respond to concerns about street-based violence and nuisance or abusive behaviour. Police will use a range of measures and positive action to deal with issues through dispersal powers and prosecution, high visibility foot patrols, and activity with licensed traders who are linked to the evening and night-time economy.

Barnstaple Sector Inspector Andy Wills explained: “We’ve spent the past month reaching out to Barnstaple residents both online and through face-to-face engagements to understand which issues are of greatest concern to them, and as promised, those issues will be our focus as we move into the activity phase of this latest operation.

“The survey results have been really interesting - some matters raised are those which are managed by other agencies such as the County and District Councils, such as on-street parking and dog fouling. We will share information and look to work under our existing partnership to respond to these issues collectively.

“There are situations which seem like they should be police matters, but which are actually dealt with by other agencies, such as noisy neighbours, dog fouling, fly tipping and more.

To avoid delays, always visit our website first to see if this is an issue which is more appropriately dealt with by another agency. Log on to www.devon-cornwall.police.uk

Inspector Andy Wills continued: “The most commonly complained about issue during our online poll was speeding motorists with 22% of respondents prioritising this. This shows clear public support for enforcement activity to target speeding which is a contributary factor in many fatal or serious injury collisions. Other commonly cited issues were the use and supply of drugs, and a need for us to also focus on public place sense of safety through deterrence, prevention and enforcement action towards those who are antisocial, abusive or aggressive and violent.

“Local people and visitors to the town can expect to see increased levels in our visibility and activity during this period targeting nuisance and criminal behaviour, which we will communicate via social media throughout. We have secured additional Devon & Cornwall Police resources during this period to support the local Neighbourhood Police Team; these include our Force Support Group, Protect and Disrupt Team, passive drugs dog, and Roads Policing Team.

“We look forward to sharing our activity and results and if are not already following us please visit the ‘@barumpolice’ account on X (Twitter),  ‘Barnstaple Police’ on Facebook, or sign up for our community messaging system at Home Page - Devon and Cornwall Alert to find out more.”