Police may cut opening times
ROYSTON police station could see its opening hours cut as Hertfordshire police implement changes to its service. Currently the police station is manned seven days-a-week between 8am and 10pm. However, this could be reduced to just three days-a-week under
ROYSTON police station could see its opening hours cut as Hertfordshire police implement changes to its service.
Currently the police station is manned seven days-a-week between 8am and 10pm.
However, this could be reduced to just three days-a-week under proposed revisions of the police enquiry service, which are set to come into force in January 2009.
Cllr Doug Drake, Royston's county councillor, said cuts involving the police "will not go down well" in the community.
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He said: "We need to have more presence, and that has to include having lights on in the police station, and public accessibility."
Bill Davidson, of the Royston neighbourhood action panel, also believes any reduction in opening hours would be a "bad idea".
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"Royston is quite a busy station, and a number of elderly people come in regarding various matters on a daily basis," he said.
"It will be difficult for them to get to the next nearest open police station if this goes ahead."
A spokesman for Herts police said that the proposed changes were "close to final agreement".
She said: "We are working on a programme of changes to improve the provision of enquiry office services across the county to ensure they are open in line with the published opening times, and to ensure that front line officers are not taken off the streets to staff an enquiry desk.
"Currently the enquiry service is organised on a very local scale using small teams of staff.
"This has resulted in problems in providing cover for sick leave and holidays, resulting in unscheduled changes to their published opening times.
"New opening times are scheduled to be in place from January 2009. There are no plans to close any police stations to the public," she said.
Andrew White, chief executive of the Hertfordshire Police Authority, said: "The Police Authority has been in discussions with the police for some time about enquiry offices.
"We want to see more information gathered before the final decision is made. In particular, we would like to have more data about usage of enquiry offices.
"From our point of view, the most important thing is that people are able to contact the police easily and effectively."
Mr White is urging people to contact the police authority and make their views on the proposals known.
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