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Gwent Police consult on station closures

Published in News at 11:00, Wednesday May 9th, 2012.

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Residents are being consulted on plans to close police stations across the Gwent force area.

In Caerphilly County Borough, stations in Caerphilly, Bargoed, Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach, Bedwas and Risca are set to close to the public.

The stations will remain as bases for police officers but will be closed to visitors wishing to report crimes in person. The changes will see the loss of 19 front desk jobs across the force.

Gwent Police has said the changes will save it £500,000. Due to budget cuts from the UK Government, the force has to find savings of £34 million by 2015.

Blackwood is the only station in Caerphilly County Borough that will still have a public front desk and will continue to be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Only Newport Central will have 24-hour public access across the force area.

As part of the changes, Gwent Police has launched a month-long ‘roadshow’ to hear people’s views.

Assistant Chief Constable, Simon Prince, who is leading the force’s Accessibility Strategy, said: “The Government’s comprehensive spending review means we have to save £34m by 2015.

“This means we have to examine how we spend every penny of our reduced budget to ensure that the expenditure is necessary and provides good value for money. We want to introduce many more ways for people to contact the police, both to report crime and get feedback on investigations, and to engage generally with our neighbourhood policing teams.

“In regards to public access to Police services, through detailed research we know a relatively small proportion of people visit our police stations, because they prefer to contact us by telephone or via the web. That’s why we’re planning to reduce front counter services at 17 or our 22 main stations, but enhance our telephone and online services.”

Cilla Davies, Chair of the Gwent Police Authority, added: “We continue to work with the force at this difficult time to identify areas where savings can be made. We have already made difficult decisions as part of the ‘Staying Ahead’ programme, which has been running for nearly five years.

“You can help us by talking to our officers about how you like to contact the police wherever you meet them. I urge everyone to take part in the survey, either in person or online. Your views and opinions as residents will be gratefully received. We look forward to hearing from you.”

The results of the questionnaires will be fed back to the police authority, which will consider all the evidence again at their meeting on June 28, 2012. The force will also be presenting briefings on the new plans at council meetings throughout May.??

The dates and locations of the road shows are as follows:??
Aldi, Tir-Y-Berth, May 15, 10am to 4pm
Rhymney Community Centre, May 17, 10am to 4pm
Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, May 29, 10am to 4pm
Tesco, Pontymister Risca , May 30, 9am to 4pm
Morrsions, Caerphilly, May 31, 12pm to 7pm
Tesco, Trethomas, Friday June 1, 10am to 5pm

Residents who are unable to attend an event can complete the questionnaire by filling in the survey online.

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