Derbyshire police stations face closure after cuts announced

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Derbyshire police stations are set face closure after proposed cuts to the budget were announced.

The force is to close 58 police buildings in the county in the next three years.

Stations across all divisions are set to close, many of which are community stations.

The following stations will be affected in B Division: Ashbourne, Bakewell, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Hadfield, Fairfield, Gamesley, Whaley Bridge and Wiksworth.

The following stations affected in C Division are as follows: Alfreton Connaught Court, Codnor, Dronfield, Eckington, Grassmoor, Heage, Heanor, Ironville, Kilburn, Langley Mill, Leabrooks, Riddings, Tupton and Wingerworth.

D Division will face the cuts at Ilkeston, Kirk Hallam and Long Eaton.

The plans, which aim to save more than £1 million in D division alone, will see a reduction in the number of safer neighbourhood team officers and police community support officers.

The overall number of police officers is expected to fall by 64 over the next year with more reductions in 2016 and 2017.

The county’s crime commissioner, Alan Charles, unveiled the plans in a report that was due to be presented to the Strategic Governance Board on Tuesday.

He said it was a result of the “debilitating” funding cuts imposed by the Government. A precept increase is also proposed to balance the budget.

He said: “We are working very hard to minimise the risks of our financial difficulties on public safety but this will inevitably result in changes, including fewer police officers and staff, changes to roles and a reduced number of police buildings. Difficult decisions will continue to be made based on threat, risk and demand.

“Increasing the precept this year will enable us to take some of the sting out of the current cuts and strengthen our base budget in the future. Despite these current difficulties the Chief Constable and I remain totally committed to shaping a service that will deliver the best performance possible.”

Mr Creedon said the majority of the buildings being closed have few officers within them and are not regularly visited by the public. He said the force has had to prioritise people over buildings to protect services and channel funds into the most critical areas.

He said: “This does not mean that the public won’t be concerned about their closure but we have had to prioritise the people who deliver a policing service over the buildings that they operate from,”

Since 2010, the force has shaved £24m off the budget, which was achieved through some very difficult choices including a freeze on police officer recruitment levels and a reduction of some 162 police officers and 269 staffing posts. By 2019/20 there is a projected reduction of 260 police officers.