Harrogate Police Station will be among three locations in North Yorkshire that will see their front counters closed two hours earlier.
It was announced today that North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, is to accept recommendations from the Chief Constable to change the opening hours of the front counters at Harrogate, York and Scarborough stations. This comes into effect on Monday (October, 15), with the counters remaining open for 12 hours a day, between 8am and 8pm. The 24-hour operation of the stations themselves remain unchanged
The move could save nearly £150,000 a year, according to the Office of the NYPCC, and follows an analysis by North Yorkshire Police which found on average less than four people used the front counters of the stations each day between 8am and 10pm.
The majority of these visits are said to be in relation to custody or for pre-arranged appointments, both of which can be met by staff and officers on duty at the station and not require the front counter to be open.
Julia Mulligan said: “With the changing nature of policing, and the way many of us now live large parts of our lives online, it is inevitably affecting how the public interact with the police. This is something the police are still getting to grips with, and a lot more needs to be done to improve access to policing online and improve customer service, both of which are part of my police and crime plan.
“These changes are already having an impact on the numbers of people visiting police stations, which is getting fewer and fewer, especially in late evenings. Our front counter team provide an excellent service, but it does not make sense for them to be staffing the front counter when they’re rarely being used. I am sure taxpayers will agree that there are better ways we can use the £150,000 expected to be saved.”
In a press release issued by the Office of the NYPCC, it was said that along with the rising use of the 101 system the numbers of people visiting a police station at these hours was expected to continue declining.