RECEPTION counters at Eastwood and Kimberley police stations are set to close down – sparking fears it is just another step towards getting rid of the stations altogether.
Division inspector Craig Berry wrote to town councillors last week to tell them front counters in Eastwood, Kimberley and Stapleford would shut, and Beeston reception would be the only one kept open in the borough.
But after the majority of Kimberley police officers moved over to Eastwood station last year, town councillors fear the police force is taking yet ‘another step’ towards taking Kimberley Police Station off them altogether.
Cllr Shane Easom said: “Once they have closed the front counter down there will be no reason to keep it open. It will close. I’ve got no doubt about it whatsoever.
“Everybody has got to get together and we need to make a hell of a stink about it.”
The Advertiser reported last year how concerns were first raised about the future of Kimberley police station after CID and response officers moved out of the station leaving just a couple of beat officers at the site.
Campaigners fighting to keep the station open described having the borough’s only reception desk out in Beeston in the southern tip of Broxtowe as ‘ludicrous’.
But in his letter Insp Berry said: “Demand for services across some front counters is low and closures will achieve significant cost savings of up to £412,000 per year which will help frontline services.”
He also said phones outside the stations will feed directly to the force control room.
The force has got to make a £40m saving over the next four years and it has already announced the closures of several stations across the county.
Eastwood councillor and Neighbourhood Watch secretary Josie Forrest admitted it was ‘worrying’ and said councillors were not happy about it.
“I would hope that they wouldn’t close Eastwood station,” she added. “It’s classed as a deprived area.”
Kimberley’s response and CID officers were originally due to move to a brand new station in Eastwood, but when plans for the new-build fell through because of budget cuts, the officers moved to Eastwood anyway, operating from the current station in Nottingham Road, leaving just beat managers at Kimberley.
The new station in Eastwood will be reviewed again later this year, along with several other new-builds in the county.
A spokesman for the police force added: “Last autumn a comprehensive review of all buildings and sites, owned or leased, by Nottinghamshire Police got under way.
“We are continuing to review our remaining estate to see if further savings can be identified, and any further proposals will be put before the Police Authority.
“However, we are absolutely not moving out of our communities and we are committed to protecting and enhancing our front line policing services.
“All Neighbourhood Policing officers will be co-located in more visible and accessible locations within their communities, and no police station will be closed until alternative accommodation is found.”