Talk over potential merger of Beccles police and fire stations
- Credit: Nick Butcher
There has been talk over a potential merger between Beccles police and fire stations.
While the move has not been confirmed, a Suffolk Police inspector said the move could happen as part of cost-cutting measures.
Inspector Richard Hill of Suffolk Constabulary said: 'We are looking at relocating with the fire service and it is to do with money saving and hopefully something can be resolved.'
He added: 'It is not the perfect scenario as you would like for there to be a public police station so that people can come in, but the footfall through the office is really low.'
The matter was brought up at a meeting at Beccles Town Hall this morning.
The meeting was about changes in local policing which have seen police constables re-deployed from East Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) to respond to 999 calls.
Mr Hill said: 'We identified some months ago that numbers on our response teams were dropping.
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'This was because we didn't have any recruitment for a period of time due to budget cuts and also a number of people who retired.'
He added: 'We have remodelled the SNT to allow us some flexibility and take PC's across to response teams.
'This is a short term fix as ultimately we need to be able to make sure we deal with those 999 calls as our first priority.'
Police officers as part of the SNT will now work together as an enforcement team across the area, jointly tackling problems, community concerns and high risk anti-social behaviour, rather than solely working in one location in the Lowestoft, Beccles and Bungay locality.
Several town councillors expressed concern that people will be worried by seeing fewer officers out on the streets.
However, Mr Hill said there is currently a programme of trainee student officers, who when they become accredited police officers, will help boost numbers on the SNT and response teams in the future.
Mr Hill added that if anybody is interested in any voluntary roles, they should contact Suffolk Police to find out about any roles.
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