Talks continue over Oakham’s police inquiry desk

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Talks over where Oakham’s police inquiry desk will be located are continuing after the force announced a raft of cuts.

Leicestershire Police has confirmed a public reception desk will remain in the town despite an announcement this week that it plans to close desks at four of its 17 stations.

However, it is still in discussion with Rutland County Council over the possibility of running a desk at the council’s offices in Catmose, Oakham.

The force has submitted plans to build a smaller office on its site in Station Road.

It wants to sell the current building, much of which is not used, to save money.

Chief Superintendent Chris Haward said: “We are in the same position in that talks are ongoing with the council.

“It still remains a possibility that we will be running an inquiry desk at the council offices.

“We are still waiting for the outcome of the plans to build a smaller office on the current premises, but if we come to an agreement there will always be a support team officer during opening hours for people with police inquiries.”

Inquiry desks are used by members of the public to report crimes, answer bail and hand in lost property.

Leicestershire Police announced on Tuesday it was likely to close four of its desks as part of the Government’s spending review to find efficiency savings of £20m by 2016.

Footfall data revealed that Oakham Police Station’s has an average of 43 per week through its doors. But some desks had fewer than 30 people per week.

The front inquiry desks that will close are at stations in Syston, Lutterworth, Belgrave and Braunstone.

The Oakham inquiry desk is currently open from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Under the new proposals, its hours would be changed from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Friday.

Chief Supt Haward added: “We felt it was important to keep a desk open in Oakham because people would have to travel a great distance for an alternative option if we were to close it.”