EIGHT police stations in Dorset will close their doors to the public for good within two weeks, it has been revealed.
Chief Constable Debbie Simpson and Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill made the shock announcement this morning.
And Mr Underhill described the decision as “one of the most challenging faced by Dorset Police” since he was elected.
So-called counter provision at Christchurch, Winton, Ferndown, Wareham, Shaftesbury and Dorchester police stations will close on the 1st of March.
Temporary closures at Verwood and Wimborne, which came into effect last summer, will be made permanent. The changes have been announced following a lengthy consultation period.
Offices were identified as “under-utilised” with some visited by as few as seven members of the public per day, said police.
A further six offices have been “saved” but the revised closures, originally planned for later, will now be pushed through before the end of this financial year.
Dorset Police said the closures will save £300,000, the equivalent of six front line officers or 10 Police Community Support Officers.
Debbie Simpson said: “Changes of this nature are understandably emotive and we continue to work with our partners to ensure that we meet our true demand within our budget constraints.
“Unfortunately, that simply means we can’t maintain such a costly and under-used service at the expense of other local policing.
“We have listened carefully to members of the public and retained services where they are most needed. Closing the front counters does not mean that a police station is closed and officers continue to work in each area.
“The opening of community contact points later this year will be just one of the alternative ways that members of the public can get in touch with us in the future.”
She said Dorset Police is now consulting with local councils and others in a bid to provide alternative contact points for the public.
Well, I suppose that settles it, then. They announce the closures and THEN arrange to consult the public!
THAT must be the reason for introducing Crime Commissioners – that nobody wanted – to waste money and have someone to blame for all of the ridiculous decisions made by inept public servants.
Also, the ancient city of Chester has already closed several police stations, including the main station in the city centre!
Nowadays, the ‘main’ Police Station in Chester is in the village of Blacon, which is a mile or so from the city centre.
A couple of weeks ago, some friends of ours visited Chester’s new ‘main’ Police Station, in the early evening, to report the theft of a car, and that main station was closed!
Amazingly, that police station is only open between 9am and 5pm, so that would suggest that there isn’t any crime in Chester after five o’clock! It must be great to have ‘solved’ all crimes outside of office hours!
When our colleagues found the station closed, they used the external telephone and asked to speak to a police officer, but was told there was none available and that she should dial 101 and speak to police enquiries.
Our colleague then pointed out that she had come to the front door of the main police station in one of Britain’s oldest cities, to report a crime and nobody was interested; furthermore, she reminded them that to ring a 101 number from her mobile phone would cost her 16 pence a minute.
She also asked how that station would respond if a woman was being attacked outside the station and rang the doorbell for assistance. The answer from the police admin person was: “We would not be able to help her and she’d have to dial 999, or 101, just like you.”
So, this is today’s British police force: they’re not interested in being available to discuss crimes; speaking to the public after five o’clock is beneath them; if someone is in danger, they might as well go to the pub for help, as the police are evidently not interested; they unlawfully assist debt-collectors; they assist in the unlawful possession of people’s homes; given the choice, they will choose to believe a foreigner over a Briton, every time etc etc.
You may wish to question WHY you pay Council Tax! I do all the time and I will continue to do so. Why don’t you?