Changes to Northumbria Police front offices announced in wake of cuts

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Northumbria Police has announced it is making changes to the opening times of some stations following cuts.

The changes include the end of front office services in Hebburn, as well as Amble and Killingworth, although the operational police station will remain and the public will be able to contact officers.

The force has stressed that despite these changes the number of operational stations across the force or the availability of officers will not be affected - saying there are no plans to close any operational stations.

The changes are being made in response to a significant decline in the use of front offices, due to people using other means of communication such as online and phone services to report incidents.

Despite these changes Northumbria will maintain 24 front offices operating across the force area, this is the largest in the country.

As a result, the force says it will be able to make savings to support operational policing and invest in greater accessibility to the service it provides.

Police say there has been an increase of seven bases located in communities in recent years - bringing the total to 47 - to ensure officers are located where needed.

Further investment will also be put into the 101 contact centres to make significant improvements to the current service.

Steve Ashman, Chief Constable of Northumbria Police said: “We are still wrestling with the impact of austerity and the cuts that we have faced in Northumbria are the largest of any force in the country.

"This has meant that we have to make difficult decisions whilst striving to deliver the best possible service to our communities.

"We know that the public want to see police officers on the street and we are changing the way we work in order to protect this.

“We also know that residents don’t want to have to go to a police station in order to report information; but rather report it in their own home and at a time that is convenient for them.

“We always strive to provide an outstanding service to everyone in our communities and this investment into online and social communication will enable us to continue to do that.”