‘Right to know’ about policing

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A POLICE officer admitted in a recent council meeting that he was asked ‘months ago’ to find a base out in the community and said the councillors had ‘a right to know’ what was going on with policing in the area.

Beat manager Dean Spalding was quizzed at a recent Greasley Parish Council meeting by councillors concerned that both Eastwood and Kimberley police stations would be closing down.

The Giltbrook and Greasley officer admitted that he was asked by senior officers six months ago to find somewhere in the community he could be based, but said on the whole he was ‘as much in the dark as they were’.

He said at one point plans were being put into place for him to move to the security office in Ikea, but he has not heard anything for the last month or two.

“I’m hearing all sorts of rumours about what’s going off,” he said. “Six months ago I was told to find a place in the community where I could be and it was looking like I would be at Ikea. Since then everything is up in the air and I can’t tell you what’s happening.

“I can’t tell you any more because I really don’t know,” he said.

He said police officers at ground level ‘honestly and truly’ did not know if officers in Kimberley were definitely moving to Sainsbury’s, but said he thought the parish councillors had a right to know what was happening and should not be kept in the dark.

The officer spoke about the police response team in Eastwood being shipped over to Beeston, and then recently being brought back again, saying he was as ‘confused as everybody else’.

Cllr Mick Brown said at Monday night’s meeting that police in the area were going to be ‘short changed’ and said the force had ‘lions led by donkeys’.

Last week’s Advertiser reported how furious and embarrassed Kimberley town councillors were when they found out about the plans for the town’s community officers to be moving to a room at the back of Sainsbury’s from the shop staff themselves.