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We need to reopen our police stations
6:00pm Monday 9th September 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS have called for two police stations to be reopened as more people move into the towns to live in new housing developments.
At a public meeting, Tories John Dornan, who represents Laindon Park, and Michael Mowe, councillor for Wickford North, called on Nick Alston, Essex’s Police and Crime Commissioner, to reopen the police stations in their towns.
Both Wickford and Laindon police stations were closed to the public in November 2011 as part of Essex Police’s plans to make £44million of savings following Government funding cuts.
But Mr Dornan and Mr Mowe said the increasing populations in both towns – which look set to rise even further due to new housing developments planned – meant the decision to keep them closed should now be reviewed.
Mr Dornan said: “With all the planned regeneration taking place in Laindon, the police station should be reopened.
“It’s about perception. If people have the impression no police are there and they don’t see police on the street, they don’t feel safe.
“I understand about the budgets, but it’s about getting the balance right, and having police presence makes a difference to people.”
Both Laindon and Wickford police stations continue to act as a base for neighbourhood officers, while Laindon also houses specialist detective units.
Mr Alston said both he and Essex Police’s Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh were undertaking a review of the county’s police stations to make sure they satisfied the public’s needs.
But he maintained police officers are better used on the county’s streets.
He added: “Let’s make sure we are delivering the service.
“We must get the response to crimes right and that is not about having a police station open. We want police out on the beat, and if they’re behind a desk at a police station, they won’t be doing that.”
Tory Mr Alston pledged to discuss the matter with the Chief Constable after the meeting, which took place on Wednesday evening at the Basildon Centre.
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