The closure of a number of
police stations across
Northamptonshire will be considered in the next year, the county’s police and crime
commissioner has said.
During a meeting of the Northamptonshire Police and Crime panel yesterday, Adam Simmonds said he would be talking to a number of local councils to ask where they would like to see the police based.
In November, Mr Simmonds said he was proposing to move the police headquarters from Wootton Hall within the next two-and-a-half years. He has already moved the main public enquiry desk from Campbell Square to the Guildhall.
Documents discussed by the crime panel yesterday revealed a £400,000 reduction in estates spending over the next two years and Mr Simmonds highlighted the police stations in Corby, Kettering and Daventry as buildings that may not be “fit for purpose”.
He said: “With Daventry moving its town centre to a different site the council may want a completely different police experience. Is it best for the police station to remain next to the court building which is no longer used? We may move it to a health centre or health clinic nearer the town centre.
“In Corby and Kettering we know the cells are below par so we would need to close them to update them anyway. I’m not closing police stations and I’m not campaigning to keep them open either. We need to look at our whole estate and see if the buildings are fit for purpose.”
Mr Simmonds also revealed that he was hoping to make £8.5 million in savings during the next five years from a “rank restructure” and “significant” reduction in back office staff.
Crime panel member Julie Brookfield (Lab, Corby West) said she was concerned any reduction in numbers could have an adverse effect on the safety of local people.
Meanwhile, the financial statements in the police budget reveal the Office of the Commissioner, which includes his “small support team”, has a budget of £940,000. The force also spends £930,000 on policy, news and public involvement, £1.7 million on commissioning, £550,000 on the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice and £70,000 on Faith Based Initiatives. The rest of the budget, £116.5 million, is spent by the Chief Constable.