Bulwell MP blames government as town’s police front counter earmarked for closure

Bulwell MP Graham Allen.
Bulwell MP Graham Allen.

Bulwell MP Graham Allen has said proposals to axe the town’s police front counter are a step backward.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has announced the results of a review into which police stations and front counters will remain open.

He has revealed that Bulwell’s front counter is one among a number throughout the county that will disappear.

Mr Allen said: ”Government cuts are hitting the service our police provide in some of our most needy areas.

“After years of campaigning for public access to police stations the clock is being put back and local people will be denied face to face access by government cuts in areas that need it most.”

According to the comissiioner’s office, 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.

Paddy Tipping 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 who wants to find out more about the plans, or give their views to the commissioner, should visit www.nottinghamshire.pcc.police.uk.

The commissioner added: “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.”