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PC ‘poster girl’: I am leaving force before it kills me

A STRESSED police officer featured in promotional material has quit with a powerful resignation letter.

PC Laura Beal said it had ‘truly been an honour’ to serve with Devon and Cornwall Police for 13 years but her role had left her suffering from stress, depression and anxiety.

She said she was quitting before the lack of resources and support ‘kills me both mentally and physically’.

PC Beal said the force was run ‘like a business’ but told her superiors: ‘Front line response is where you need to focus your time and money. This is where the buck stops.’

In the letter, made public on Facebook, PC Beal revealed she was expected to go on patrol as a response officer covering mid-Devon with just one other officer most days.

‘This is meant to be adequate staffing and safe,’ she wrote.

PC Beal, who followed her father into policing aged 19 in 2004, said responsibility for the crisis in policing rested with budget cuts made by then home secretary Theresa May in 2010.

Devon commander Ch Supt Jim Colwell thanked her for her ‘loyal service’ and said the force acknowledged concerns from officers and staff.

The force plans to recruit an extra 100 officers, which will bring its total to 3,000.