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19 October 2011, 09:56
It's been confirmed that around two-thirds of police station front desks are going to close in Hampshire - to save money.
The force says from next April, there'll only be one front desk per district - making a total of 16. Most of them will be open 7 days a week, but not 24 hours a day.
There are also plans to close some police station buildings and move teams into places like libraries, council offices and supermarkets.
The changes follow a review by the constabulary into the way front office services are used by the public. As a result, the force say more money will be put into developing ways of contacting the force by phone or online.
Hampshire Police Authority will be selling some of the buildings they currently use. This means Safer Neighbourhoods teams will move to other offices such as council buildings, libraries or supermarkets.
The restructuring of the front counter services is part of efforts to save between £40million and £50m by 2015.
Assistant Chief Constable Laura Nicholson said: “This time of change for Hampshire Constabulary presents a significant opportunity for the force to really focus on what is important to residents, by taking a look at what we do and why we do it. We believe that we will emerge from this period of transition as a stronger force, focused on what really matters to the public.
“The consultation with the public on how they wish to interact with us has shown a clear shift towards online self-service options as well as interaction with officers in the community, so this is where we will focus our resources in the future.
“However, we know that front offices still have an important part to play in providing access to our services, therefore we remain committed to having at least one front office in each District to meet public demand.”