Amble police station earmarked for closure as police respond to funding cuts
Neighbourhood policing is apparently under threat as the government makes huge further cuts to funding. However, we are assured that we will be protected in Northumbria with a series of far reaching changes. These will guarantee that the numbers of police officers and police staff on the beat is maintained.
Efforts have been made to safeguard the services the public say they value most – visible policing in their communities. This will be achieved without the need for any increase in the council tax for policing. A list of police stations due to close includes Amble. We are told that the stations which are proposed for closure will not close before alternative accommodation is found. This will be happening over the next four years.
Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “The Government cuts are relentless and unfair. They impact far more heavily on our police service than on many others. The Chief Constable and I are very committed to maintaining the number of police officers and staff working in our neighbourhoods. I am conscious that local people are feeling the effects of the economic downturn, acutely, in our region. We have managed to protect frontline numbers and deliver the savings needed without the public having to pay more.”
All aspects of police services have been scrutinised to make as many none staff savings as possible The force faced difficult decisions in order to achieve the level of cuts required – either reduce the numbers of frontline officers and staff or change operational structures and reduce running costs.
The proposed changes will not reduce the service to the public nor impact on the force’s ability to reduce crime and disorder.
Chief Constable Sue Sim said: “Neighbourhood policing will remain the cornerstone of how we deliver service and I remain committed to protecting, as far as possible, the officers and staff who are visible in our communities. This includes 24/7 response and neighbourhood policing teams, including CSO Patrol, Community Engagement Officers and the detectives who work in neighbourhoods”.
In the new structure the number of Area Commands will reduce from six to three – north, south and central. The north will have its headquarters at Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend, with stations at North Shields, Bedlington, Ashington, Hexham, Berwick and Alnwick.
Neighbourhood officers will remain in the communities they serve, based in accommodation familiar to the neighbourhoods where they work. These offices will be open at the same time as the station currently serving the public.