This is a guest post from Councillor Malcolm Doherty, the Police Authority Chair.
The official public consultation on how people can have their say on the closure of police stations in the area beings today and will last for 12 weeks. LOOP (Lancashire Options On Policing) are also hoping to attract opinions through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The review has suggested closing 21 ‘front counters’ and several police stations on the basis that the numbers of people actually using them are very low.
Most importantly, we are absolutely not moving out of communities, or becoming more remote from people, if anything it’s the opposite.
We want to explore alternative options with people so that we can create a police estate that is fit for the future – a future that includes increasing usage of mobile technology (keeping officers out on the beat for longer) and shared premises with other organisations for greater visibility.
Equally, even without the reductions in funding, we would be looking closely at all the police premises, to ensure that they remain viable and necessary.
We totally understand that people place great importance on their local police station, but do they actually need or use it?
We believe that residents would prefer us to invest our resources in people rather than property, to help us maintain the level of service provided. Before we make any decisions though we need to know what you think.
1st July marks the start of a wide-spread three month consultation period, when you can tell us how you would prefer to contact, or be contacted by, the police.
You can tell us what you think about closing, moving or retaining your local police station or front counter. You can influence that decision.
There is a host of information on the Authority’s website telling you what is proposed for which area.
We know that one size doesn’t fit all but we do believe that together we can develop solutions that are effective, affordable and practical.
You can email us with your views at LPA.Information@lancashire.gov.uk, Tweet @LancsPA, find us on Facebook or visit our website.