Police stations cut opening hours in Seahaven

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POLICE stations in Seaford and Newhaven began their reduced opening hours this week as part of cost saving measures initiated by Sussex Police.

From Monday May 9 Newhaven Police Station and Seaford Police Station were open from just 10am to 2pm.

Sussex Police has to save £52m by 2015 and are proposing to cut jobs in the county.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Our foremost priority is to keep our police officers out on the streets and working with their local communities so we are examining every aspect of how we currently operate to see what changes we can make that will save money but protect the service we provide.

“We recognise that some of our current buildings and processes were designed decades ago to serve an incredibly different world and the way people want to contact us is changing.

“Most people contact us over the phone rather than by visiting a front office. The majority of visitors to police stations at the times that we are reducing hours are related to custody, bail or lost property.

“Many of our front counters have, on average, less than one visitor an hour.”

Research and consultation with the public suggested to Sussex Police that most people did not know the opening hours of their police station front office and were willing to use alternative ways to get in touch.

The conclusion of the review was that there were alternative ways to contact police that were more convenient for them and less expensive to run.

The total cost of front office arrangements was £4.2m each year.

The spokesperson continued: “By changing opening hours of front offices at times that they are not well used by the public we will save over £2m per year.

“Making savings here will mean we can protect policing in local communities.”

In the future people will be able to book pre planned appointments online as well as over the phone, although this service is not yet available.