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Police Front Desks To Close

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:02am 15th May 2014

It is going to get harder to see a police officer face to face in Cornwall.

Devon and Cornwall Police has revealed plans to close more front counters.

Those expected to go include Falmouth, Penzance, Bude, Liskeard and Launceston.

It will mean the only places that have full time front offices in the Duchy will be Bodmin, Truro, Camborne and St Austell.

The service in Newquay will only run during the summer.

Across Cornwall and Devon it will mean 27 jobs go.

The force has already closed a series of front desks over the last few years.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said: "In the current financial climate the force needs to make challenging decisions around how we best use our resources to benefit our communities.

"We are required to make difficult decisions in order to maintain visibility and maintain front line policing whenever possible.

"The force has carried out a review of how the public contact police in Devon and Cornwall and it has shown that the amount of people physically calling at a police station continues to diminish.

"In even our busiest stations this can be as low as five to six people an hour at peak times and for quieter stations can be no personal callers at all for periods of time.

"As a result, we will now formally consult with staff unions regarding how we use Public Enquiry Offices to get the best value from the resources that we have.

"The force currently receives around one million contacts a year from the public via 999, 101 and contact with the Force Enquiry Centre and force website. This number far outweighs the amount of people actually attending a police station.

"With the development of online communication and further investment in technology, it is only likely to reduce further."

ACC Netherton added: "While we may be reducing the amount of Public Enquiry Offices immediately accessible to the public, the number of operational police stations is not changing and police officers and staff will still work from those stations affected by the Public Enquiry Office Review.

"While closing some enquiry offices has an inevitable effect on staff and a change in the way we operate as a force, the considerable savings are expected to be in excess of £750,000 per year and the force is faced with making difficult decisions about the way in which we deliver services to our communities.

"Maintaining a visible presence in our communities remains a critical factor and we will do everything possible to target resources and achieve this. It is hoped this review will further allow us to increase visibility away from traditional police sites."

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg said: “We must all accept that the way we deal with the police has changed over the past few years and understand that need to be made now and in the future.
 
“However, I am confident the savings made by withdrawing this underused service will help maintain the number of front line police officers over the next four years.”

A final decision is expected in July.

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