• December 26, 2010

The Devon and Cornwall Constabulary police commander for West Cornwall & Isles of Scilly has responded to the General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League, regarding the use of bilingual signs at Camborne police station.

Commander Martin Orpe told the GS in an email that the Cornish language signs, taken down at Camborne Police station earlier this year, will not be replaced. The reason Commander Orpe gives for not replacing the signs is tight financial constraints that the force has come under. However, the GS has replied to Commander Orpe asking if Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary would consider
replacing any warn out English language signage used by the Force in Cornwall with bilingual ones, in view of the fact that these can be produced at no extra cost.

The full text of the letter sent to Commander Orpe can be found below and the email received from the Commander and is found below that.

“Dear Commander Martin Orpe

Cornish Language Signs

Many thanks for your email.

It is unfortunate that the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary have decided not to replace the Corninsh signs taken down at Camborne Police Station. I was under the impression from comments made by Inspector Mark Bolt to the media in September 2010 that the signs had only been taken down because they looked too scruffy and would be replaced by professionally commissioned signs at the first opportunity.

I understand that we are currently in a difficult financial climate and that the budget of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary is being severely cut. However I would like to ask if and when any English language signage needs to be replaced by the police in Cornwall, would the Constabulary consider replacing them with bilingual Cornish/English signs? You may not be aware that a number of sign
making companies, including the one used by Cornwall Council, provide bilingual signs for no extra cost. This would not of course place any financial strains on the budget of Devon and Cornwall Constabulary and would indeed, in our opinion, be money well spent.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League”
Email from:

Martin ORPE
West Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LPA

“Thank you for your email regarding the signage at Camborne Police Station.

I apologise for the delay in my response but I have been in liaison with the Diversity Unit of our Force, to ensure that my response to you is that of a Force perspective and not just Camborne.

The Force perspective is that we will not place signage outside Devon & Cornwall police stations duplicated in Cornish, and hence the signs that you allude to at Camborne will not be replaced.

I hope you agree that in the difficult financial climate that we find ourselves in we are very much under the microscope in relation to where and what we spend public money on.

I hope that this answers your question. It may not be the answer that you were looking for, but it is important that I give you a corporate Devon & Cornwall Police response, rather than a local one.

Martin ORPE
West Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LPA”

Related link on Celtic News here:


This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884

M: 0044(0)7787318666


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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