11:00am Friday 6th April 2012
THAMES Valley Police did not ask people if they wanted front counter opening hours cut in its public consultation.
The Oxford Mail revealed yesterday how opening hours across the county had been reducted by up to 70 per cent.
The force said that 1,258 people completed the questionnaire.
It asked how they contacted the police, if they had visited their local police station in the last 12 months and what days and times were most convenient – but not if they would back cuts to opening hours.
The reduction to the number of hours police stations will be open to the public, as revealed in yesterday’s Oxford Mail, will result in a £600,000 saving during three years and four supervisor posts.
Chief Insp Colin Paine, area commander for West Oxfordshire, said the force had to make savings of £54m over the next four years.
He said: “No-one wants to do this but we are in a very difficult position and we have to make savings.
“How else do we do this without cutting our police officers?
“Of course it is regrettable but what is the alternative? We would love to keep them open for the same hours, but the fact is it is simply not good value for money for taxpayers during these times of austerity.”
The new hours come into effect on July 2.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group