Dorset Police Defend Desk Closure Plans
9:04am 8th October 2013
(Updated 12:03pm 8th October 2013)
Dorset Police have defended their plans to get rid of the front desks in their stations, but are encouraging residents to have their say on the prospect.
The Force aim to save £500,000 on the police budget because, as they say, they've had to review all areas to try and deliver the savings required in the face of ongoing cuts.
According to Police Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, there are stations in Dorset where on average "less than 5 visitors a day go to the front desks, and most of those people don't have police related issues... they'll ask for directions, or dog issues, or housing issues."
Chief Constable, Debbie Simpson, says to remove the desks could be a good move as surveys have revealed 77% of people prefer to phone anyway, "Our call handlers can determine which is the best way in which to answer a query, and that of course might be that they send a Police Officer around or a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer). So it may well be that you'll get a better service, and actually therefore there is no need for somebody to leave their house to get their query answered."
Stations with custody suites, like Weymouth, won't be affected, and PCC Martyn Underhill also said that, although there are around seventeen stations with enquiry desks in Dorset, they won't all be closing.
PCC Martin Underhill encouraged everyone to contact him and air their views, "We are opening public consultations in the next few weeks, right through from Inspectors and Sergeants on the ground talking to the local communities, to myself and the Chief Constable... it's really important that we hear from people.
The consultation period will end in December, you can email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org.