Barnstaple police station enquiry office to close on Saturdays
09:19 15 May 2014
Devon and Cornwall Police announce proposals today (Thurs) which could save £760,000 a year forcewide.
BARNSTAPLE police station’s public enquiry office will could be closed on Saturdays, Devon and Cornwall Police has announced.
As part of proposed changes across the force, the office in Barnstaple will be open from 9am until 5pm on Monday to Friday.
The proposals are currently undergoing full consultation with a definitive decision expected in July.
It is currently open between 9am and 2pm and 3pm and 6pm on Tuesday – Friday and 9am until 2pm on Saturdays.
Exact details are yet to be confirmed but the force says the changes to stations are expected to save around £760,000 a year.
There will also be changes to the opening time of Plymouth Charles Cross, Torquay, Exeter Heavitree Road, Plymouth Crownhill, Camborne, Truro, Bodmin, St Austell and Newquay.
The overall number of full-time equivalent Public Enquiry Officer posts will be reduced from 61 to 34 as part of the plan.
Assistant chief constable Paul Netherton said: “In the current financial climate the force needs to make challenging decisions around how we best use our resources to benefit our communities.
“We are required to make difficult decisions in order to maintain visibility and maintain front line policing whenever possible.
“The force has carried out a review of how the public contact police in Devon and Cornwall and it has shown that the amount of people physically calling at a police station continues to diminish.
“In even our busiest stations this can be as low as five to six people an hour at peak times and for quieter stations can be no personal callers at all for periods of time.
“As a result, we will now formally consult with staff unions regarding how we use Public Enquiry Offices to get the best value from the resources that we have.”
The number of operations police stations will be not be changing across Devon and Cornwall, ACC Netherton added.
He said: “Innovation is key and having a more mobile police presence means a better, more efficient and visible police service.
“We are committed to maintaining community based services and working with partner agencies to do this in the most efficient way possible.”