Cambridgeshire police to close nine walk-in enquiry offices
Cambridgeshire police are to shut nine enquiry offices, which act as walk-in centres for the public, in favour of appointment-based surgeries and online service.
The move comes after the force announced last October that it planned to halve the number of PCSOs on the county’s streets from 80 to 40 and close the enquiry offices in a bid to save £1.7million.
Six community safety officer posts across the force were expected to be cut as the community safety team was culled in the shake-up of neighbourhood policing.
The surgeries will be available for members of the public seeking non-crime advice or to report crime, at different locations each week, or alternatively people can report crime and intelligence online, through the force’s webchat service, or by calling 101.
The simplified service means that from Tuesday, May 4, ‘walk in’ services at enquiry offices will no longer be available, except for those at Parkside Police Station in Cambridge and Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough, which will remain open from 8am–8pm every day.
Appointments at other stations can be made through the force’s webchat service or by calling 101.
Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “In line with the neighbourhood policing changes that were announced at the end of last year, we are having to streamline our services.
“It is with regret that we can’t keep our walk-in services at more of our enquiry offices but unfortunately with the financial constraints that I outlined last year it isn’t possible.
“I’m encouraging the public to consider using our online services to report crimes or intelligence as these are handled the same way as any other report. In instances where you want to speak with someone, our web chat operators and 101 call takers are on hand 24/7 to provide guidance and answer any questions.
“I appreciate there may be some people who don’t have access to online services and for those people I would encourage them to phone 101, which can still be done using the yellow phones outside of each station. We remain committed to providing quality policing in our neighbourhoods, even if financial challenges change how we operate.”
Limited lost property services remain in place at Parkside and Thorpe Wood for things that are easily identifiable, for example bank cards, personal documentation and driving licences.