Police station opening hours to be cut

PUBLISHED: 16:45 25 January 2011

Police appeal for witnesses after criminal damage in Nailsea.

Police appeal for witnesses after criminal damage in Nailsea.

Archant

OPENING hours at Weston's police station are to be reduced in a move aimed at getting more bobbies on the beat.

The front desk of the Walliscote Road station is set to shut four hours earlier each day from June, taking on new opening times of 8am-10pm.

It follows a review by police which found fewer residents are now visiting the station for advice, help or to report a crime – instead using email, telephone and the internet.

As part of the move, the force aims to use the time the change frees up to provide new street patrols, out-of-office beat surgeries and stop-off community contact vehicles.

Chief Superintendent Kay Wozniak said the proposal is not part of a cost-cutting drive, but a plan to reflect modern society.

She added: “Going to a station is the last thing some people consider when wanting to contact the police. These days people interact with police in all sorts of different ways and this proposal is designed to suit that.

“I am sure people would agree that they would like to have more officers on the beat, out running surgeries or located in contact vehicles.

“I understand we can never meet everyone’s wishes because everyone has different expectations, but we are trying to reflect society by providing many ways the public can get in contact us.”

Police say people wanting to talk to an officer outside station opening times can make an appointment.

There is also a communication point which the public can use to get through to the force’s call centre in an emergency.

The enquiry offices are run by a firm called Southwest One, which has been involved in the police review.

A consultation with staff on the force’s 29 station front desks is ongoing and it is unclear if the move will result in redundancies.

Only one police station, in Trinity Road, Bristol, will remain open to the public 24 hours a day following the implementation of the plan.

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