Eastwood being short-changed

Sir,

Beat Speak in this week’s Advertiser is a great example of spin about the closure of police stations in the north of Broxtowe.

In the article it says that Eastwood Police station will remain but the front counter will close. What it should have said is that Eastwood Police station will remain open until such time as suitable alternative accommodation could be found in the community.

Eastwood, along with Kimberley, is in the second phase for closure of our Police stations.

I met a PCSO a few weeks ago who told me they were moving into Durban House. A move which apparently is a non-starter, possibly because of the cost of renting there being more than the police wish to pay.

Where Kimberley is concerned, they have earmarked the Temple Centre, Kimberley Parish Hall and the IKEA security Office to accommodate a Pc and a PCSO at each location.

Closing Kimberley Police station will save approximately £16,500 per annum.

The article gives the impression that the closures will help pay for more police on the streets. The truth is that the police are facing a financial deficit of £42.3m. From its budget of £200m, they must make savings of £23m before March 2013, a further £8m by March 2014, and another £11m by the end of March 2015.

In 2009, the police conducted a survey and are now using the answers they got to enable them to proceed. The survey was conducted on a face-to-face basis or by telephone. Only 1,602 members of the public across the whole of Nottinghamshire were asked to take part in the survey.

The article says that everyone will be within a twenty minute journey (or eight mile radius) of a front counter and a neighbourhood policing team. The only counter that meets this criteria is Hucknall, which is classed as a third tier Front Counter station and is only open from 10am until 6pm Monday to Friday.

Beeston, which is a thirty minute journey away by car or ninety minutes by public transport, is open seven days a week from 8am till 8pm. The only front counter in the county which is open 24/7 is the one at Nottingham Central.

The figures used to support closure are flawed, they are taken only on incidents reported and nothing else.

The promised new build at the corner of Nottingham Road and Plumptre Way has been cancelled.

In a couple of years, Eastwood will have gone from having a proposed new police station which would have been the main hub for Broxtowe, to having nothing.

Once again, the people of Eastwood are being short-changed.

The information I have given has been taken from a briefing document issued by Nottinghamshire Police and dated July 29, 2011.

Charlie Robb

Eastwood