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Norfolk Police Federation boss has heavy heart over station closures plan

By DPF Admin17th November 2015August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

Norfolk police’s chief constable Simon Bailey says a “handful” of police stations are likely to close over the next three or four years as he tries to find ways to plug a £9.3m funding gap in the £26.4m it will need to save between now and 2020.

Paul Ridgway, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation, said: “It’s with a heavy heart that I have to agree with the chief. He has no choice but to get rid of police stations rather than officer numbers, but the public see police stations as part of the community and they know where to go to see someone face to face.”

Mr Ridgway has warned the cuts will have a major impact on the public as well as the police if they continue.

He said: “Up until now, cuts to police have mainly affected officers and staff but they are starting to affect the public and the public already state they don’t see police officers. If the cuts carry on, we will become a faceless 999 service – is this what the government believes the public wants?”

Mr Bailey has said that stations would inevitably have to close in the wake of the cuts the savings the force was having to make.

He added: “Police stations do not detect or prevent crime. It’s officers who do that and that’s what I need to protect. Bricks and mortar cost me money, and that’s money that I don’t have.

“The face of policing has changed and police stations these days are often simply places where staff are based, where I store equipment and vehicles.

“The days when police stations were where the majority of crimes were reported has gone.”

Stalham has been confirmed as one of about half a dozen police stations which are likely to shut, although the force has not yet revealed which other police stations are at risk.

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