Police cuts could see stations shut

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SHUTTING police stations could be one of a number of cost-cutting measures looked at as bosses try to cope with cuts to their funding.

Lincolnshire Police must save £20million in four years and police chiefs say they want to do that while trying to keep the same amount of officers on the streets.

In Spalding the cells have been closed for a three month trial as part of that review – with offenders transported to Boston instead.

Now Chief Constable Richard Crompton has raised the possibility of closing police stations and moving them into supermarkets, libraries or post offices.

Chief Con Crompton said: “The Police Authority is considering plans for managing our buildings and assets, but no definite decisions concerning changes have yet been made.

“The force and the Police Authority recognise the importance of local accessibility and if a police station was to close or be put forward for possible closure, it would do so only after a period of public consultation and then only once a viable alternative point of access was in place, such as a local library, post office or supermarket.”

Police say any closures would not affect stations that have regularly manned enquiry desks.

Alan Hardwick of Lincolnshire Police Authority said it was impossible to say which, if any, of our stations could be at risk at the moment.

He said: “The reality of the Government’s decision is that we have to save money and that goes right across the board.

“Where we have room to manoeuvre we are looking at making changes – we have not ruled anything out but we have not ruled anything in. This is a work in progress and there is not a hitlist of stations.

“It is fair to say that the authority and force are confident that we can meet our commitments to the good people of Lincolnshire while at the same time reducing costs. I know that sounds impossible but as far as we are concerned we can do it.”

There are currently police stations open in Spalding, Holbeach, Crowland, Bourne and Market Deeping. There is set to be a ‘police room’ at the new Sutton Bridge Community Centre.