Changes to opening hours of three of the four district offices publicised in May this year are set to come into practice from 1st October.
At that time, the force explained that it had undertaken a three month footfall review of the four district police offices to identify whether the opening hours provided matched the communities’ requirements.
The outcome of the review revealed only one or two visits were made to Kirkleatham, Stockton and Hartlepool police offices between 10.00pm and 08.00am each day, with around five made to Middlesbrough office - these were chiefly to access the centralised custody suite. The figures for daytime visits were significantly higher.
This disparity has led to a decision to operate the three offices of Kirkleatham, Stockton and Hartlepool daily between 08.00am and 10.00pm, whilst Middlesbrough will remain a 24hr service for anyone wishing to attend a police office in person, as well as continuing the current access for custody purposes.
A video telephone device will be placed at the entrance to Hartlepool, Stockton and Kirkleatham Police Stations from next Wednesday for use when the front desk is not staffed which will link directly to Middlesbrough front desk.
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “Operational policing will continue from each of the four stations without any changes and members of the public can attend at any time to meet with a police officer either by pre-arranged appointment, or at an appointment made via the video phone on the premises.
“We have taken account of the way the public expect to contact us. Most people prefer to contact the police by phone and very rarely will they walk to a police office, therefore we need to provide a better front desk service that matches public demand.
“With advances in technology and particularly the increase in the use of social media by the public, we need to ensure that the way we communicate with our communities is the most effective possible.
“We have increased our use of social media over the last year, with most neighbourhoods now having their own Facebook sites to keep the community abreast of what is happening in their area.
“And we hope to build on the relationships we are establishing through the use of technology, whilst always ensuring we are not compromising on the quality of the service we provide.”
The video phones will be available at the entrance to each station with a one-touch dial through to Middlesbrough Police office for assistance from 1st October.
Posted on Friday 26th September 2014