Police office counter to close in Buckingham as force makes cuts

The police office counter is at the Old Gaol
The police office counter is at the Old Gaol

The front counter at Buckingham Police Office is closing, in an attempt to save £29 million across the force by 2021.

Six front counters are closing across Bucks after 86 per cent of people told Thames Valley Police that they prefer to use the phone.

Despite the closures, the force has emphasised that even once the counters have shut down, nobody will be more than 10 miles from one.

Along with Buckingham, the counters at Bletchley, Newport Pagnell, Wolverton, Chesham and Gerrards Cross are scheduled to close on April 1.

That will leave just 16 of the 34 front counters currently in operation across the Thames Valley.

Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and High Wycombe front counters will now be open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.

Police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld, said: “With a smaller budget and an ever increased demand on policing, it is vital that we look at ways we can improve the way we operate. We don’t want to see our buildings sitting empty, unused and costing money when the funding that’s saved can go into other areas where it is needed such as new technology, protecting vulnerable people, child abuse and domestic abuse.”

The force said most people use front counters for ‘lost and found’, with around 20,000 interactions each year. But each visit to a front counter costs the force somewhere between £2.34 and £20.75, which it says ‘demonstrates the inefficiencies’ of some counters.

Deputy Chief Constable John Campbell said: “I wish to reassure the public we are by no means withdrawing from our communities and the availability and visibility of police officers to attend incidents is not affected by front counter opening times.”