Thursday, January 04, 2007

Police stations to close!

Ever wondered why reported crime is falling?

Remember the days when we were told that a policeman was your friend? Remember the advice we were given if ever lost - ask a policeman? Remember when you could go find lost property at your local police station? Remember when policemen patrolled your streets on foot or on bicycles? Remember when South Shields had sub-stations in West Park Road and Galsworthy Road?

Well, unfortunately, time cannot stand still, and no man can stand in the way of progress and modernisation! Hence the reason why today Northumbria Police have announced that they are closing 11 stations to the public, including stations at Boldon and Harton (Sunderland Road, South Shields.) This will leave only 26 stations open to the public, at varying times of the day for the whole of the force area which stretches from Berwick in the North to Houghton-le-Spring in the South. They say:

"These developments will enable us to deliver a more citizen focused policing service and to meet the full requirements of the National Quality of Service Commitment."

Now just think; as we see reported crime figures continue to fall, yet claims of crime detection rise, how long does it take a policeman to get to your door these days if you report something minor like criminal damage, burglary, damage to your vehicle, anti-social behaviour by the local yobs ?

What number did you use to ring the police? Was it 101 or 999? Did you use a number that got you straight through to the police switchboard (0191 4547555) or did you just pop down to the local station?

It's all about to change, you will have to get used to using a local rate 08456 043043 number (wonder how much that might generate for them?), if you want to talk to a policeman/woman you will have to travel to the main police station in Station Road, South Shields, or Hebburn (but only before 5.00 p.m.!)

So as the police appear to be getting more remote and furthering the distance between themselves and the public whom they are charged with protecting, would it surprise us if levels of reported crime continued to fall in the next few years?


Northumbria Police

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