Opening hours of police stations to be reduced

Northumbria Police North Tyneside HQ, Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend
Northumbria Police North Tyneside HQ, Middle Engine Lane, Wallsend

Changes are being made to the opening hours of two police stations in a cost cutting move.

Northumbria Police has announced changes to the time of a number of stations across the force.

As part of the proposals, Killingworth police station in Forest Hall will lose its front office provision while Middle Engine Lane police headquarters will see the opening hours of its front office reduced from 24/7 to 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

There are no changes to the existing 9am to 5pm opening, Monday to Friday, at North Shields and Whitley Bay police stations.

Officials say the changes are being made in response to a significant decline in the use of front offices as residents are using other means of communication to report incidents.

The savings generated will be used to support operational policing and invest in greater accessibility.

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.”