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Police dogs on display at the Devon County Show

Police dogs on display at the Devon County Show Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The Devon and Cornwall police dog display team, together with a selection of police puppies will be showcasing their skills which they learn as part of their police training in the main arena at the Devon County Show.

The police dog display team will be will be used in a firearms scenario with gun fire where the dogs will be used to detain an armed person.

They will also demonstrate a search situation and emergency recall where a dog is sent in error to a detained person.

The puppies will be showing the crowds their newly learned skills in the agility and obedience classes.

Police dog Brodie will also be attending as the Devon and Cornwall Police guest of honour.

Brodie, from the police puppy scheme who had both hips replaced earlier this year will be on hand to meet the public at the police stand with his puppy walkers and Police Canine Development Officer, Paul Glennon.

Brodie was brought into the world by the breeding programme run by Devon and Cornwall Police.

‘Bionic Brodie’ as he has affectionately been known, captured the hearts of the public when it was confirmed the only way that Brodie could lead a pain free life was if both hips were replaced after a diagnosis of chronic hip dysplasia.

He healed nicely after the first operation and is expected to be fully recovered in about eight weeks.

– Paul Glennon, Police Canine Development Officer

Crime rate falls in Devon and Cornwall, but sexual offence reports rise

Crime rates have fallen, despite hundreds of police job losses Credit: ITV News

Despite losing hundreds of officers to austerity cuts, the crime rate across Devon and Cornwall has fallen in the last year.

New figures show over four thousand fewer crimes were reported between last April and this March. This includes an almost 10% fall in burglary and 10% less vehicle crime.

However reports of sexual offences have increased by over 20%.

Victims are central to everything we do. As a police force we focus on the crimes that have the most adverse impact on people’s lives.

In the past, domestic abuse and sexual offences have traditionally been significantly under reported to police. In partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner we have continued over the last 12 months to encourage victims to come forward to police.

These areas remain to be a high priority for the Force, and we hope that an increase in sexual offences figures show that victims have more confidence in reporting these crimes.

– Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly, Devon & Cornwall Police

A full breakdown of the crime figures can be found here.

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Missing man from Plymstock

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of Lawrence Ewart Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a 28 year old from Plymstock.

Lawrence Ewart was was last seen in the Plymouth area on Tuesday April 7th at around midday. He may be traveling in a dark blue Ford Focus registration LB10EUN.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen him is being urged to contact police

Operation launched to reduce crime on Dartmoor

Operation Moorwatch will try to cut crime on Dartmoor Credit: ITV News

Devon and Cornwall Police have launched an operation aimed at criminals who target tourists over the holidays.

Local officers will be running Moorwatch, which is aimed at cutting crime in rural areas, particularly at car park and beauty spots surrounding the Dartmoor national park.

Sergeant William Young from Devon and Cornwall Police says: "While Dartmoor is a safe place for people to live and visit there has been significant issues in the past with vehicle crime particularly visitors to the region in parking. And isolated rural car parks can become the target for thieves."

Moorwatch is all about raising the Police's profile in isolated areas. Police officer Cathy Veale says it's important people don't leave their valuables on display.

"We're going to be out and about talking to members of the publicto remind them to be vigilant and talk about any concerns they may have."

But vehicle crime isn't the only problem on the moor. The Police also want the public to look out for any anti-social behaviour such as fly tipping and illegal off-roading. Dog owners are also being warned about the dangers of their animals worrying livestock.

Rob Steemson from the Dartmoor National Parks says dog owners are also being warned about the dangers of their animals worrying livestock.

"There's a real problem at this moment in time particularly in areas close to conurbations where local people quite rightly coming up exercising the dogs but unfortunately they're not keeping them on a lead and quite often behind various gauze bushes there are stock. farmers are allowed to graze their stock and unfortunately dogs are attacking and killing sheep at this moment."

The police are hoping this campaign will send a clear message . This is an area of beauty not crime.

Police crackdown on bad drivers to start this week

Police will be monitoring road safety in unmarked vehicles. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Police will be patrolling Devon and Cornwall roads in April and May, hoping to catch drivers who break traffic laws in the act.

Using unmarked cars and motorbikes, officers from armed response and road safety units will target drivers doing any of the "fatal four". Speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and distractions such as using mobile phones while behind the wheel.

Those caught could be sent to a compulsory education programme, or, depending on the offence, be fined, imprisoned or disqualified from driving.

The campaign, called Operation Vortex, begins on 2nd April, on Junctions 26-30 of the M5.

As ever, law-abiding motorists have nothing to fear from this initiative, this is dealing with complacent and arrogant behaviour on the roads.

– Inspector Richard Pryce, Roads Policing Unit, Devon and Cornwall Police

What does the "strategic alliance" actually mean for Dorset and Devon & Cornwall Police forces?

Devon and Cornwall Police has confirmed that it will pool resources with neighbouring Dorset in what is known as a "strategic alliance".

We spoke with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Police, Tony Hogg, who explained what it means in practice:

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West Country police forces agree to work with each other

Two West Country police forces have agreed to work together and share services.

The Police and Crime Commissioners for Devon and Cornwall and Dorset signed the agreement, creating a strategic alliance between the two forces.

Dorset Chief Constable Debbie Simpson and Devon & Cornwall Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer sign the agreeement Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

The aim is to maintain a high standard of policing at a time when budgets are being reduced. It's predicted that the alliance will save at least £12 million.

I am excited to announce that Dorset Police has formally committed to working alongside Devon & Cornwall Police in a strategic alliance.

They are a high performing force with colleagues who share our values, priorities and absolute determination to deliver the best possible service to local people.

Working in alliance with Devon & Cornwall Police will, I’m sure, provide a golden opportunity to achieve the efficiency savings we must make, while maintaining and protecting vital services.

– Debbie Simpson, Dorset Police Chief Constable

The alliance is not a merger of the two forces and both will remain as separate organisations with two Police and Crime Commissioners and two Chief Constables.

Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police are natural partners for an alliance. Not only are we similar in terms of our geography and communities, but also in our policing styles. I am delighted to have signed this agreement today.

The coming months and years will be challenging as we look to develop services that work more effectively for communities in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the Isles of Scilly. We are determined to make the transition as easy as possible for all those affected – and in particular for our communities who rightly deserve the best possible policing service.

– Devon & Cornwall Police Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer

Police Officer jailed for defrauding four women out of tens of thousands

A police officer who defrauded four women out of tens of thousands of pounds to fund his gambling addiction has been jailed for more than five years.

Christopher Higgs was dubbed a disgrace to Devon & Cornwall Police Credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

Christopher Higgs was dubbed 'a disgrace to Devon & Cornwall Police' after he admitted 16 counts of fraud, perverting the course of justice, intimidation and blackmail.

Higgs from Helston, who served as a response officer, was arrested and suspended from duties since January 2013.

PC Higgs has acted in a wholly inappropriate and criminal manner for which he has rightly been convicted at court today.

As soon as these allegations came to light, PC Higgs was suspended and a full investigation launched which identified the victims and witnesses who have supported the investigation and criminal case.

– Detective Superintendent Sam De Reya

He added:

The offences significantly impacted the victims who were members of the public, colleagues, family and friends and our thoughts and considerations are with them as PC Higgs begins his custodial sentence.

– Detective Superintendent Sam De Reya

Residents pay tribute to PC Hocking

Local residents today paid tribute to PC Hocking after his funeral.

He had time for everybody, he made everyone feel special, the quintessential police officer. He found time, he was compassionate and fair, he upheld the law, that's what the community wants, but he respected the community and quite clearly the community respected him. He was the epitome of what policing should be, but a family man who loved people, and people loved him.

– Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer of Devon & Cornwall Police

It's just the way he was, someone described him as Dixon of Dock Green, you know friendly, he always had a laugh and a joke with everybody and I think he used to go in nearly all the shops.

– Local resident

He did his job cheerfully and was sincere.

– Local resident

He was one of the best, he was good at his job and he was a gentleman, he had a laugh and a joke with everybody, he loved my dog and he'll be greatly missed.

– Local resident
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