Fenland police stations to cut back opening hours

POLICE station opening times in Fenland have been slashed to reduce long reception hours.

POLICE station opening times in Fenland have been slashed to reduce long reception hours.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s base in March will close two hours earlier each evening after Chief Constable Julie Spence said she wanted to “do away with the practice of having front counters staffed needlessly”.

And Whittlesey and Chatteris police stations will only open four hours a day after September 6 because: “Few people want to visit a police station during the night to report a routine matter.”

Meanwhile Wisbech police station will only open between 9am and 5pm each day despite protests from a former officer who called it a “vindictive proposal”.

David Green, who retired from the force two years ago after three decades of loyal service, believes it is a money-saving device and said: “It is not actually what the public wants.”

He fears people will suffer because police stations are less likely to be open when an emergency breaks out.

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The ex-copper said: “They have not looked properly at how people will actually be affected.

“If it only opens between 9am and 5pm most people are at work. They can’t actually use it.”

However Chief Superintendent Nigel Sunman reassured the public that people can use yellow phones at the front of police stations to contact someone urgently.

He also said there were several ways people could get in touch with police outside opening hours, such as telephone and email.

Chief Supt Sunman said: “This is part of ongoing work to ensure we make best use of resources and public money.

“There were times when the use of enquiry offices had been infrequent. It was not a good use of staff time or constabulary money to have an office staffed on the off chance a member of the public may visit.”

He added that a public consultation including mystery shopper exercises and internet surveys had been carried out.

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