U-turn over hubs as officers return

PC Paul Toon, Sgt Andy Browning, Insp Craig Berry and Colin Handley from the Police and Crime Commissioner's office with local residents Roy Plumb, Steve Brunt and Shane Easom at the new police office in Kimberley
PC Paul Toon, Sgt Andy Browning, Insp Craig Berry and Colin Handley from the Police and Crime Commissioner's office with local residents Roy Plumb, Steve Brunt and Shane Easom at the new police office in Kimberley

Councillors are celebrating after winning a battle to get community police hubs back in Kimberley and Nuthall.

Police officers have made a U-turn and decided to move back into the in Kimberley and Nuthall after a backlash from residents when they left.

Police hadcleared their offices lsat year without warning, leaving people angry and disappointed.

Senior officers apologised to local councillors about how the closures were handled and advised them to carry out a public survey asking people how important they felt a police presence was.

Councillor Steve Brunt, of Kimberley Town Council, said the result of their survey was “overwhelming” and helped clinch the return of the officers to their town.

He said: “It’s great news. The council did everything it could to keep the police presence and they came back to us and said they would like to come back, so it’s a happy end.

“Some 90 perccent of people said ‘yes we want them to stay in Kimberley’. They said it gave them confidence and reassured them. That was the biggest thing – everyone mentioned reassurance.

“I am disappointed with the manner in which they left, but pleased the heirarchy at the police have seen the benefits and looked at the consultation forms.”

Sue Stack, Nuthall Parish Council clerk, said: “We are absolutely delighted about it.

“We put in a formal complaint, did the survey they suggested and we’re just so glad it paid off.”

Councillors met Chief Inspector Phil Davies last year following the hub closures.

He apologised and also asked them to do the consultation.

Results of the consultation were handed in to police shortly before they got the news of them returning.

The police hubs are based at the school room next door to Kimberley’s parish hall in Kimberley, and in Nuthall’s Temple Centre.

Councillors in both Kimberley and Nuthall offer the rooms to officers free of charge.

Coun Brunt recently met Inspector Simon Riley, the new Broxtowe inspector, and Sergeant Andy Browning, neighbourhood policing sergeant.

Coun Brunt said: “Insp Riley visited the room as he had not seen it and was delighted with it.

“The location is perfect for them – it’s almost in the town centre, near to Watnall, on the school run and next to the parish hall, so there’s a lot of plus points.”

When Kimberley councillors met the police, they pointed out the town was due to get another 600 houses built over the next eight years – a potential increase of 2,400 more residents.

Coun Brunt said: “This isn’t about now, it’s about the future – and in the future it might cost them a lot more money finding a shop to rent.

“The hubs are bases for officers as and when they need them, as opposed to police stations.

“We’re glad they’ve seen the light.

Mr Davies said: “Officers will be allowed access to the hubs to have briefings, take statements and meet the public.

“The advancement in our agile working and mobile technology means officers will continue to be encouraged to be out and about, on foot or in vehicles, rather than behind brick walls where they can’t be seen or engaged with.”