KIMBERLEY Police Station has been earmarked for closure, police announced in a meeting this week.
Sgt Andy Browning announced the plans in an Eastwood Town Council meeting on Monday night and a community meeting in Watnall on Tuesday night, leaving Kimberley councillors furious their townsfolk were not told first.
Town councillor Steve Brunt said: “It’s disgraceful. When was somebody going to have the common courtesy to tell us? The people who it mainly affects?
“The news wasn’t a shock if I’m perfectly honest. I knew the axe was going to fall but it would have been nice for them to come to here first.”
The plans include moving the station’s beat officers to ‘community bases’ at Kimberley Parish Hall, the security office at Ikea and the Temple Centre in Nuthall, the meetings heard.
Sgt Browning said the original plan for moving officers to Sainsbury’s in Kimberley fell through and Eastwood station was ‘thankfully’ not on the list of proposed closures.
But Cllr Brunt and Cllr Shane Easom both said it would only be a matter of time before Eastwood station went as well.
They firmly believe everything will eventually be run from a borough ‘super station’ in Beeston.
Cllr Brunt, Kimberley Town Council’s police liaison officer, said: “We’re not even half way through the four years of cut backs. They will close it next year or the year after,” he said.
“Their clear aim is to shift everything to Beeston but no-one has got the guts to come out and say that. You can see it coming. They will do it bit by bit. Just like they’ve done with closing Kimberley.”
Kimberley Town Council has been fighting to save the station since the first rumours emerged last year.
Over the last few months many police officers have moved out of the station and the front reception counter has closed, leaving suspicious councillors battling to keep it open.
Councillors are particularly angry at the overall lack of public consultation, and recently wrote to other councils, discovering that they too had had no consultation ahead of their stations closing down.
The town council got in touch with Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry who has written to the chair of the Police Authority, Jon Collins, asking why there has been no consultation.
Cllr Brunt said if the police force approached the public, they might be able to help, and suggest ways of raising money so the station could be kept open.
“We wanted them to come to the public and say ‘we’ve got to make cuts what can we do?’,” he said.
Nottinghamshire Police are proposing to close 12 stations and leave just 18 of the county’s 42 front reception counters open.
The plans will make £880,000 from the sale of buildings and the force will save almost £720,000 a year in rent and running costs.
Insp Craig Nolan said: “The Kimberley Neighbourhood Policing Team is rarely based at the station and instead spend their time out in the community.
“The station also sees very few visitors and as a result, our proposal is to consider closing it.
“Our priority over the coming months and years is to protect front line policing and safeguard people’s jobs. We must therefore explore all opportunities to make savings from other avenues, including our buildings and our vehicles.”
Nottinghamshire Police needs to save £40 million over the next four years.
The latest proposals will go through a meeting of senior officers in September where a final decision will be made.
Kimberley Town Council will hold a meeting today, July 22, with representatives from other councils across north Broxtowe to discuss the impact of the station closure and look at the way forward
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