PUBLIC-facing desks at police stations across the county could close as part of a force-wide cut to front counter services.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) launched a public consultation on Monday seeking residents’ views on whether front counters should close at Bicester, Witney and Kidlington South police stations.

Under the plans, the force will also reduce Oxford’s St Aldate’s police station opening hours by two hours from 8am - 10pm seven days a week, to 8am - 8pm instead.

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Opening hours of front counters in Abingdon and Banbury will also be reduced.

The proposed changes, which include reductions in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire as well, would save the force around £1.4million.

Although front counters have been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic, residents in Bicester say a permanent closure would be ‘utterly ridiculous’.

Resident Ron Hoare said: “Just to save a few quid. Utterly ridiculous for the people of Bicester not having somewhere to go to speak with an officer for whatever. That’s not showing us in Bicester that Thames Valley Police force cares much for us.”

Front counter services usually allow people to report crime, give information about a crime, produce documents required by a police officer, report for bail, leave messages for officers and staff and reclaim seized vehicles.

People used to be be able to hand in and reclaim lost property, but this service was recently cut.

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City councillor Louise Upton cabinet member for a safer, healthy Oxford says it is 'good news' that St Aldate's front counter is staying open and she is 'not concerned' about the two hour reduction in opening times.

She said: "I think for St Aldates that's reasonable. It would be interesting to see the number of people coming in between 8am and 10am in a normal week. I can imagine the number would be small.

"As long as the police are responding to 999 calls and other non-emergency numbers, that's what's important.

"It's reasonable for people to go to the station at a different time if it means the force will save resources and manpower.

"I'm surprised they are looking to close others because the elderly who perhaps do not use computers may want to report or pop in on a Saturday morning to say what has been troubling them."

The proposal does not affect police officer numbers nor the number of police bases, so the public will not experience any difference to officer visibility.

There are 79 police bases force-wide, which are not affected.

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The consultation is hosted on the digital platform Snap and will run until January 31.

To have your say, go to

To obtain a paper copy, call 01865 542895 to leave your address for a copy of the consultation to be sent to you.

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