Plans To Close Police Station Desks Put On Hold
8:06am 12th March 2014
Plans to close some Police front desks to save money in Dorset have been put on the back burner, for now.
The Force says they're going to spend the next few months looking at fresh ideas for how they can deliver the counter provision.
It's follows weeks of public consultation with local communities around the county.
Some front desks saw just over five visitors a day back in 2012 and Dorset Police says closing a select few would save half a million on their tightly squeezed budget.
The bigger, busier front-of-house counters in Weymouth and Bournemouth would be protected under the original service review proposals.
Dorset Assistant Chief David Lewis says they're listening to people's concerns and there won't be any changes to front desks before September, but they couldn't guarantee they were safe from cutbacks in the future;
"I don't doubt that there will be less front counter provision across Dorset at the end of this review and that's only right because we're spending tax payers money and we need to do so wisely, and we need to protect the frontline."
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: "When the Force and I asked the public to provide feedback, we made a commitment that we would carefully consider the views we received.
"From the wide range of alternative suggestions and the strength of feeling that we have encountered, it is clear that the Force and I need more time to take on board the information we have received. There is more work to be done before final decisions can be made and it's important that this work isn't hurried."
Recent surveys indicate that three-quarters of the public prefer to contact Dorset Police by telephone and improvements have already been made to the 101 non-emergency service. Work to improve Dorset Police's online services is also underway.