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Darwen police station hit by cutbacks
THE inquiry desk at Darwen Police Station is to close two days per week as part of cutbacks, it can be revealed.
Police said the move would enable more officers to be out on the beat.
The current operating hours are also being reduced every day.
The desk will be closed on a Sunday and Monday, then being open from Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 2pm and then 3pm - 6pm. Currently the desk is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.
The changes will be implemented from October 1.
Labour Coun Trevor Maxfield said: “In an ideal world it would be open around the clock, but sadly the current police cuts this has to be done to save jobs and keep more police officers on the streets.”
Last year the front desk was set to close as part of a cost cutting plan to save Lancashire police £42 million. But after a three-month consultation, and a local campaign to save it, Darwen’s stayed open.
With the reduced hours in place Liberal Democrat Coun Victoria Rothwell said that the situation was ‘sad.’ She said: “I am really not happy with this and I feel that there should be a police presence and a friendly face on the desk at all times. Almost 90 per cent of the people that I have spoken to are disappointed with this. The community doesn’t feel safe - there has always been coverage on Darwen’s front desk and its a shame. We really want them to stay.”
A police spokesman said, “In October 2012 changes will come into place that affects a number of police stations across Lancashire.
“This follows a review of all stations and the services they offer in 2011 which made recommendations to close some facilities and to change the opening hours of others.
“The public were consulted throughout the process and due to the fact we have had to make savings of over £40m, difficult decisions have had to be made.
“For those stations that will have a change in the hours they are open to the public, this will come into effect from October 1st.”