04:30PM, Tuesday 05 January 2021
The front counter at Maidenhead Police Station may no longer open at weekends following a new consultation by Thames Valley Police (TVP)
Under the proposals the front counter would be open 8-4pm Monday to Friday. Before the coronavirus pandemic it was open seven days a week from 8am-10pm.
TVP said it launched the consultation as part of its commitment to meet the changing needs of its diverse communities and to make 'necessary savings'.
Other proposals include reducing the number of front counters in the Thames Valley from 16 to 11, which would save about £1.4million.
Front counters at Amersham, Bicester, Bracknell, HQ South in Kidlington, and Witney will close if the proposal is approved. Maidenhead and Slough will retain front counters but with reduced opening hours for Maidenhead.
The force said the proposal does not affect police officer numbers or the number of police basis 'so the public will not experience any difference to officer visibility in our communities'.
Since March 2020, TVP has operated with just five of its 16 front counter sites open. Seven re-opened in October 2020.
Assistant Chief Constable Ben Snuggs said: “The way in which our communities contact and engage with us continually evolves, with this rate of change accelerating significantly during the pandemic.
“As you might expect, we have seen an increase in contact with us by phone and online. Contacting us online is proving a convenient way for people to report non-emergency crimes or incidents, COVID-19 breaches, apply for firearms licensing, tell us about something of concern or to update us on a crime report among many other functions.
“We want to ensure we continue to operate in line with these changing public expectations and do so as well as possible. TVP is committed to providing a high quality service to the public so that when people need us they can contact us swiftly and easily. As this involves people physically coming to police buildings less and less, it is right that we continue to adapt our digital, online and phone response accordingly.
“It is important to emphasise that this proposal does not affect police officer numbers, nor the number of police bases we have, and so the public will not experience any difference in police visibility in our communities.
“We are also offering support to our staff who are affected by this proposal and have kept them up to date with the proposed changes. We are hoping to keep any staff changes to a minimum to reduce the impact on our workforce.”
“It is vitally important we hear your views on this proposal as it will help us make a well informed decision. Please take part and tell us what you think through this consultation.”
Visit www.wh.snapsurveys.com/SURVEY_PREVIEW.asp?k=160759077770 to take part in the consultation. It will close on January 31.
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