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13 January 2014, 07:40 | Updated: 13 January 2014, 07:42
16 stations could have reception areas closed or opening hours reduced in a bid to save the force around £500,000.
In a statement, Dorset police said:
A review of station desk enquiry offices identified that they were an under-utilised resource and proposed changes include the withdrawal of some station desk offices and reduced opening times at other locations.
The proposals could save the Force in the region of £500,000 – the equivalent of 10 front line officers or 17 Police Community Support Officers.
Throughout November, the Force and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner invited members of the public to share their views on the proposals.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said:
“The Force and I received significant feedback about these proposed changes and we have carefully considered a range of alternative suggestions and views.
“For example, the feedback has indicated that the provision of a peripatetic service in the north of the county was not considered viable or valued. A full-time site has been highlighted as the preferred alternative.
“We have therefore reviewed the initial proposals and would now seek to retain a front counter provision in North Dorset. The location of this service is yet to be determined and will be influenced by the availability of a suitable location and the level of demand.
“In addition to these proposals, we are keen to pursue joint agency initiatives. As a result of the first phase of stakeholder engagement, we are continuing to work with other agencies in the public sector to develop more effective partnerships that will enhance the availability of policing services in our communities with particular interest in sharing buildings.”
Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said:
“It is evident that the proposed changes to our public front counter services have generated much local interest and we are grateful for the feedback received. We are keen to hear from the public, elected members and partners about the revised proposed changes to public front counter service and I’d like to reiterate that no final decisions have been made.
“Other suitable alternative provisions will continue to be made available, including the telephone facility which will remain at all stations as a means for the public to make direct contact with the Force Command Centre.
“There will also be further promotion of the non-emergency contact number (101) and improved contact via the Dorset Police Website. We remain committed to the provision of local policing throughout the county. “
Members of the public wishing to provide feedback are encouraged to email email@example.com.