Proposals to relocate some police stations and reduce the number of front counters open to the public have been revealed today by Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping.
The Commissioner said: “We are working our way through the toughest of financial times – and that means making tough decisions. Successive years of funding cuts mean that we have already had to deliver savings to the tune of £42m and in the next 12 months we need to find a further £12.7m. Finding savings on this scale becomes progressively more difficult.
“The Chief Constable’s team and I have taken a long hard look at our police stations and which front counters are open at what time and tried to match our future plans to public demand. People keep telling me that officers are more important than buildings and we know from our reviews that many people now prefer to contact the police via telephone or email instead of making a trip to a station. So, we listened and we’ve responded accordingly.”
Consultation about the proposed changes is underway with local community partners and affected staff. Anyone wishing to find out more about the plans, or give their views to the Commissioner can visit www.nottinghamshire.pcc.police.uk.
If the plans are given the green light, it is intended that officers and staff from Sneinton will relocate to St Ann’s Police Station and a community police station facility for officers will be set up in Sneinton before the current Police Station is closed to release some capital funds. Similarly, in the Meadows, officers and staff will relocate to Riverside and a community police station facility will be established ahead of the closure of the existing station itself.
It is proposed that nine front counters will remain open*. In Nottingham City, these are at Radford Road and Central Police Stations. Others remaining open are at Clifton, Mansfield, Worksop, Sutton, Newark, Beeston and West Bridgford. Carlton, Hucknall, Oxclose Lane, St Ann’s Ollerton, Retford and Bulwell will close.
The Commissioner said: “We have thought long and hard about our options. Our aim is to achieve the right balance to maintain frontline policing, retain areas of estate that are important to the force and to our communities, and cut costs where we can without detriment to the public.
“Officers will be spending more time out and about in communities helped by new mobile technology that enables them to work effectively without the need for a permanent desk. While we have put our plans forward, these are not set in stone and if, during our consultation, someone comes up with a better idea, then I’m happy to discuss it.”
ACC Simon Torr added: “We have outlined a number of possible options based on when and where the public need our front counter services the most. We are currently discussing these options with our officers and staff, our community partners and PCC Paddy Tipping.
“We are constantly seeking to improve the service we offer to the public and we are working hard to ensure that our service matches what people need and want from their local police.
“The public have responded very positively to the way in which we are maximising a partnership approach and making better use of the range of technology now available to us to reach out to more people.
“Exciting projects such as virtual front counters, smartphone apps and greater use of the force website and social media will enable us to provide a greater choice for people in how they make contact with the police in the future.”
Where front counters are closed, local communities will still be served by the officers who are based at the station. Members of the public can also continue to contact Nottinghamshire Police by using the yellow phone outside the police station or by calling 101 for non-emergencies or 999 for emergencies.
Outline proposals for change were approved by the former Police Authority in 2011 and the force continues to maximise opportunities for co-location with partners, reduce the overheads associated with maintaining premises and provide more varied and modern options for the public if they wish to access the police.
A review of front counter services was undertaken in recent months by the force to ensure that the most often used counters would remain fully staffed while alternative access would be provided within quieter communities. Once the review was complete, Chief Constable Chris Eyre and the Commissioner considered all the options available, including ways of providing a better level of service within local communities
*The current proposals will see opening times as follow:
- Radford Road – 8am to 8pm Mon to Sun
- Central – 8am to 8pm Mon to Sun
- Clifton – 10am to 6pm Mon to Fri
- Mansfield – 8am to 8pm Mon to Sun
- Worksop – 8am to 8pm Mon to Sun
- Sutton – 10am to 6pm Mon to Fri
- Newark – 8am to 8pm Mon to Sun
- Beeston 8.30am to 5pm Mon to Thurs 8.30am to 4.30pm Fri
- West Bridgford 8.30am to 6pm Mon to Fri, 9am to 1pm Sat
Commissioner: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Nottinghamshire Police Force: 0115 967 2080
Posted on Friday 16th May 2014