Proposals seen by Gwynne reveal that the decision has been made to close 10 Public Enquiry Counters across the Greater Manchester area; these include counters at Hyde Police Station and Fred Perry House (Stockport Council). Following a similar decision to close remaining counter services at both Denton and Reddish Police Stations in 2014, constituents were advised to use either Hyde or Fred Perry House.
When this decision comes into effect in February 2017 it will leave only one police station with a counter service per borough across the entirety of Greater Manchester. Added to this the review also includes recommendations to reduce opening hours for 11 of the remaining 12 Public Enquiry Counters across the force from the current 8am-11pm Monday to Sunday, to the new hours of 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sundays.
The ability for members of the public to physically access a police officer within a police station is incredibly important and allows individuals a reliable and safe option to report a crime, or other matter.
Residents have been advised, to use yellow phones currently located outside police stations, ring the non-emergency police number 101 or to alert a local police officer/Police Community Support Officer or by using 999 for emergencies as usual.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’m shocked that only two-years after Greater Manchester Police’s decision to scale back counter services across the force, that left my constituents without any physical access to a police officer through counter services, they are now removing the nearest alternative provision available to them.
“I understand the budgetary pressures faced by Greater Manchester Police, but I don’t believe these should fall on the ability of police officers to speak to members of the public, face-to-face. These are bad decisions making the police seem even more remote.
“I strongly encourage the force to think again about these proposals, for the good of our community.”