Front-counter reception desks to close at 13 police stations in Staffordshire

Leek Police Station in Fountain Street.

PUBLIC reception desks at 13 police stations are to be shut by Staffordshire Police.

They include those in Leek, Biddulph and Cheadle in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

The public will instead be required to report crime online or over the phone

Only one police station in North Staffordshire – Longton – will retain a front-counter facility.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims (pictured) explained: “Staffordshire Police will still be there when people need us as we transform the way we work to best serve communities in an ever-changing digital age.

“We are investing in neighbourhood policing and improving online and telephone services toi make it easier and more convenient for the public to get in touch with the police to find the information they need and to report minor crimes and other matters online.

“The reduction in the number of front office counters will not affect local policing and officers will continue to be visible and work as part of the increased community policing teams across the county.

“As part of this the public will be able to get access to their local officers via drop-in surgeries, police posts and other locations such as partners’ offices, and not just via traditional [police] stations which are often not convenient”

Glyn Pattinson, secretary of Staffordshire Police Federation, said the changes were the consequences of cuts in policing.

He told The Sentinel newspaper: “The impact on the public will be felt 24/7. These counters’ were a place of sanctuary that have always been open to the public but they are unsustainable.

“Just having one front office counter in North Staffordshire is not where we want to be and it is unfortunate.”