Police station front counters to close

RESIDENTS will no longer be able to report crimes at their local police stations when four enquiry desks close.

Police chiefs in Derbyshire have announced the closures of front counters at Dronfield, Killamarsh, Shirebrook and Staveley in a bid to cut costs, after the Government announced funding cuts of £24 million by 2015.

The force has 25 enquiry offices across the county, but plans to close nine, which chiefs say are ‘underused’.

Opening hours at a number of others will be changed.

Assistant Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “We examined all our enquiry offices and looked at the services they provided and the number of visitors they received.

“It was clear there was spare capacity across all sites and many of the smaller offices received a limited number of visitors.

“The way we deliver services to the public has moved on greatly in the last few years and many of the things enquiry offices used to be the first port of call for are being delivered elsewhere.

“Our contact management department is now the first point of contact for the majority of people who access our services via phone.

“It offers scheduled appointments for people to speak to a police officer at a time and location to suit them.

“An array of other inquiries such as those around firearms certificates for example, can be dealt with by dialling 101 and there is more information and guidance on the force’s on internet site and on other websites like Ask the Police.

“Following a review of all the enquiry offices, it was clear many sites were not viable to be kept open, both from an efficiency point of view and a financial one.

“It was a difficult choice, but we had to weigh up carefully between retaining buildings or retaining officers.”