Police in Torquay welcome new Inspector

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Thursday, February 29, 2024 - 20:59

Devon and Cornwall Police has appointed Chris Lithgow as the new Inspector in Torquay, heading up neighbourhood policing teams in the area.

“I know Torquay very well, having been brought up near Broadsands. I also spent part of my 16-year police career patrolling the area, answering emergency 999 calls and investigating serious crime”, said Inspector Lithgow, “this has provided me a wealth of useful insight into the town’s complexities and issues – as well as the many positives.

Insp Lithgow continued: “Neighbourhood Policing is about being visible, being accessible and managing long term complex problems, of course there are far more intricacies than that, but this is my overall aim. I have some key areas and priorities I will be focusing on, including addressing antisocial behaviour, the town centre and crimes against women and girls.

“Anti-social behaviour - particularly in and around Castle Circus – is one of my focuses. I am developing immediate proactive plans to make the area safer for the community, and will be tackling the on-going long-term issues by working alongside communities and professional partners to put in place interventions to deter criminality and reduce reoffending.

“Another priority is crime in the town centre. My neighbourhood officers are conducting daily foot patrols across the town, with a focus on increasing presence in areas identified as crime hotspots. We now also have a dedicated Sergeant based in the heart of Torquay who works alongside the council to look at the root causes of why individuals commit crime and what can be done to prevent this.

Lastly, violence against women and girls, specifically crimes committed during evening and late nights is another one of my priorities. I am increasing neighbourhood officer’s visibility during these times, and I will also be rolling out specialist training to all front-line officers over the next few months. The training will further improve their skills in identifying predatory sexual behaviour to protect vulnerable people and prevent a crime from taking place,” said Insp Lithgow.

Neighbourhood policing teams are made up of Police Constables (PCs) and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and Sergeants. The team play a different role to the patrol teams who are responsible for responding to emergency 999 calls. Neighbourhood teams provide a vital link between communities, schools, partnership agencies and community groups. Their essential work aims to deter people from committing crime as a result of their interventions and working relationships, and to educate and prevent people from being victims of crime.

Insp Lithgow added: “The list of activities and actions that my team carry out can sometimes feel never ending and it’s my role to ensure the team focus on these clearly defined priorities. The workload of officers is immense, but I am truly humbled on a daily basis by the level of compassion, resilience and work ethic that all my officers show.

I am looking forward to the year ahead and to continue building upon the positive impact the neighbourhood team has on the community of Torquay, making it a safer place for all.”

The neighbourhood team regularly post updates about the work they are doing to protect local communities and reduce crime within the area on their Facebook and Instagram page @TorquayPolice. Alternatively, please sign up to Devon & Cornwall alert https://alerts.dc.police.uk/ to hear the latest information directly from Devon & Cornwall Police.

To find out more about the neighbourhood officers in your local area, visit the ‘what’s happening in your area’ section of the Devon & Cornwall Police website. The team also hold regular public meetings where they discuss local issues and priorities – please consider coming along to one of these to meet the team and find out more about what your local team are doing in the area.