Web reacts to ‘impacts’ of cop cuts
The news that Dunstable Police Station is to no longer serve as a base for officers to patrol out of has been met with dismay by a number of Gazette readers.
Internet users took to social media platforms to voice concerns over changes being made by the local police authority in light of the Government’s spending review earlier this year.
Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard stations will be affected as Beds Police officers will now operated out of two ‘hubs’ in Luton and Kempston.
The local authority said the changes are “not expected to have an impact on any operational issues due to changes in the way officers are deployed”. However, many readers remain unconvinced.
The main concern members of the public have raised is that crime rates will increase, due to a perceived rise in response times.
Sarah Etherton said: “I cant believe this. The burglars will have a field day.”
Rita Fleming questioned the safety of Dunstable residents. She said: “I cannot believe that no police officers will be operating out of Dunstable.
“It has to impair the safety of the public if criminals know the nearest copper is [however many] miles [away]?”
Mark Morgan said: “Bloody madness! Do they really expect us to believe there will be no impact?”
On Twitter, Pete Smith said: “If it won’t affect rising crime in Dunstable, why didn’t they do it years ago? Same lines trotting out everywhere re: cuts.”
A Policing Review was carried out to identify where savings could be made, and this month the Chief Constable released a report on its outcomes.
Beds Police’s new policing model also includes plans to remove about 100 police officer and 56 community support officer posts – the authority may invoke their right to retire officers with 30 year’s service on grounds of “the efficiency of the Force”.
Peter Conniff, chair of the police authority, said: “With 20 per cent of our overall budget to be saved between 2010/11 and 2014/15, there is little choice but to reduce police posts.
“The revised shift pattern will actually improve the health and well-being of officers and will ensure there are more officers protecting the public at key times, both of which are our priorities.”
Beds Police is required to make £19m in savings before 2014/15.
To view the full report, visit www.bedfordshirepoliceauthority.co.uk.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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