Supt Will Schofield, the new district commander on the Isle of Wight. Picture by Laura Holme.
POLICE front desks at Newport and Ryde are safe from the axe, according to the Isle of Wight’s new top cop.
Supt Will Schofield said there were currently no plans to close the stations to the public, as has happened in other parts of the Island.
Supt Schofield, 45, said he was not being asked to make savings.
He said: "The chief was very clear when he was making our necessary savings that he would protect the front line up until April 1, 2012, at 2,224 — that’s Safer Neighbourhoods teams, response teams and local investigation.
"He has now extended that and said he will try to preserve that for the foreseeable future."
Supt Schofield, a married father of three, who has served with Hampshire Constabulary for 25 years, was previously based at police headquarters at Winchester and before that was district commander at Havant for four years.
A frequent visitor to the Island, he said crime and anti-social behaviour continued to fall on the Isle of Wight with house burglaries down a massive 50 per cent — 65 fewer break-ins — compared to last year.
As well as being a safe place to live, Supt Schofield, who was born in Havant, said the Island’s crime solve rate also ranked as one of the highest in the force, at around 35 per cent.
But he believes even more criminals could be brought to justice by restructuring investigation teams to provide better coverage, particularly in the evenings and at weekends.
Supt Schofield, who has chosen to live on the Island rather than commute, also plans to look at how they support victims of crime, including how officers are deployed, their initial actions and, crucially, how victims are kept informed and updated throughout the process.
Responding to calls for officers to be armed following the brutal shooting of two female police officers in Greater Manchester, the superintendent said: "My personal opinion is most officers, including myself, are very proud not to be armed.
"We feel we police with the consent of the community and it would be very sad if that ever changed."