Morale warning over police counter closure plans

James Tattsersall
James Tattsersall

Morale among police staff is at an all time low following the announcement 10 front counters could close.

Unison, which represents civilians working for Lancashire Police, has raised concerns over the figures used to justify the closures and the impact of increased call volumes on other workers.

James Tattersall, the Unison representative at Lancashire Police, insists there are questions to be answered before any closures go ahead.

A consultation into the proposals, which include Poulton, Bispham, St Annes and Kirkham, was launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw last week.

Mr Tattersall said: “One of our concerns is the data used to justify the closures.

“The data was from an activity survey conducted in one week in November. I would question whether that data would be entirely representative, especially for stations in areas with heavy tourist footfall.

“I don’t doubt that some of these counters are under used and can closed, but others may not be justified.”

Mr Tattersall is also concerned about the impact on the 101 service should front counters be withrdawn.

He said: “We already know there are long response times and the call centre is currently under a lot of pressure.

“They talk about alternatives, like reporting crime online.

“But that means more operators being dedicated to that service, which often involves follow up calls.

“The fact is these changes will leave large areas with no counter service after 5pm and Fylde will have none at all.

“You cannot put a lot more demand on the control room.

“Morale among civilian staff is already at an all time low and this will not improve matters.”

The Police and Crime Commissioners office says the front counter proposals will help Lancashire Police find £20m of additional savings, demanded by Government.