Daventry police station hit by cuts to front desk opening hours

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Daventry Police Station’s front desk is to have its opening hours slashed by more than half, Northamptonshire Police have revealed.

The changes will see the police reduce opening hours from 78 hours a week to just 36 from April 1.

The force currently has public enquiry desk facilities at 10 police stations which are all affected and the cuts follow a review of the services provided at these locations and how they are used by the public.

Chief Constable Adrian Lee said the review was part of the continuing drive to improve the way the force responds to and deals with enquiries from the public while recognising the financial challenges facing the force.

He said: “Public enquiry desks have long been an important part of a traditional police station and we know people feel reassured by having a police presence in their local community.

“However, the way people access policing services has changed over the past few years. Fewer people actually visit a police station in person and the majority of contact is now by phone; online methods of contact are also growing.

“As part of the review, we have looked at how often people visit the enquiry desks, the reasons they do so and the times they visit, and this has shown that the use of these facilities at certain times and in some locations is very low.

“We have also spoken to other forces that have recently made changes to their public enquiry desk provision and they too had recorded a marked decrease in the number of people visiting police station front offices.

“As such, to ensure we make the best use of the resources we have available, we will be introducing revised opening hours in all locations from 1 April.”

Counters at Wellingborough, Corby, Northampton Guildhall and Daventry will open six days a week, Monday to Saturday. Weston Favell will continue to open five days a week, Monday to Friday, and Rushden and Towcester will reduce from five to three halve-days each week.

The public enquiry desk in Kettering will move to Kettering Borough Council’s customer service centre in Bowling Green Road and will be open Monday to Saturday.

From 1 April, there will no longer be a front counter service at Oundle and Brackley police stations; however, these and all of the other stations will remain an operational base for local officers.

Outside of enquiry desk opening hours, people will still be able to contact police on the non-emergency telephone number 101 or report a non-urgent incident online at www.northants.police.uk, where they can also find a range of advice and information.

The front counter review is just one part of the Force’s ongoing change programme, which is looking at all aspects of the organisation and policing.

Mr Lee added: “We are already trialling different ways of providing a local policing service, including sharing facilities with partners, and this has been working successfully for several months in Northampton, where the police enquiry desk is located at the borough council’s One-Stop-Shop at the Guildhall.

“We’ve had a very positive response from the public and have seen an increase in the number of visitors. The central location, more welcoming environment and convenient access to other important services has no doubt contributed to its success and I am confident the new Kettering office will provide similar benefits for the local community.”

For a full breakdown on the changes to the front desk opening times, visit: http://bit.ly/150opft.