Derbyshire Dales MP lobbies Police and Crime Commissioner to reopen Bakewell station
Derbyshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner was in Bakewell this week and heard the case for reopening the town’s police station.
Angelique Foster, who was elected in May, met Sarah Dines MP and Councillor Alasdair Sutton for a walk around the town to discuss local issues, and along the way conversation turned to Ms Dines’ campaign to bolster the police presence.
The station was the last in the Peak District when it closed in 2015 as Derbyshire Constabulary was forced to meet budget cuts imposed by Conservatives in central Government.
Bakewell residents mounted an unsuccessful campaign to save it, and today the Safer Neighbourhood Team operates out of Bakewell fire station.
Ms Dines said: “It is absolutely clear that the residents of Bakewell and surrounding villages would love to see the police station open again. There seems to be a real desire and need to see it open.
“Sadly I hear from residents that they feel rural crime is on the rise and I know that opening the station, which is currently left vacant, would be a common-sense solution to tackling this problem head on.”
It is likely police bosses will examine the evidence before deciding whether to direct more resources into Bakewell.
A glance at crime statistics for the Bakewell, Sheldon, Over Haddon and Ashford area since 2011 suggests that recorded offences fell from 289 in 2015 to 232 in 2017, then rose to 322 in 2019 – still lower than 352 at the start of the decade.
While offences reached a decade high of 364 in 2020, largely driven by an uptick in antisocial behaviour, it is possible the pandemic created particular conditions which could recede again.
It is also worth considering the impact of other cuts and changes to policing since 2011.
Ms Dines said: “I believe we need more police officers across Derbyshire Dales but it would be a good start to have a station in the north of the constituency.
“Some areas of the Dales are remote and isolated and it is my belief that having a station in Bakewell would go a long way in promoting a safe community.”
Ms Foster, Ms Dines and Coun Sutton agreed to meet again in September to discuss possible options.