POLICE enquiry offices in Chapel-en-le-Frith and New Mills are to be closed as part of cost-cutting plans.
Derbyshire Constabulary has today announced plans to change enquiry office services to the public throughout the county which will see both the Chapel and New Mills offices among nine which are to be closed. Other enquiry offices in the county will have their opening hours changed.
The force said that after reductions in police budgets were announced in October 2010, they were left with a budget deficit of £13m by the end of 2012/13 and a predicted total of £24m by 2014/15.
The Moving Forward Programme was implemented in 2009 to look at ways to work more effectively and deliver the necessary savings.
As part of this a review of the enquiry office service was started in May 2010 to assess how effective the front counter service was and whether they provided value for money.
Assistant Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “We examined every single one of our enquiry offices and looked in detail at the services they provided and the number of visitors they received.
“It was clear that there was spare capacity across all sites and many of the smaller offices received a limited number of weekly visitors.
“The way we deliver services to the public has moved on greatly in the last few years and many of the things that enquiry offices used to be the first port of call for are being delivered elsewhere.
“Following a review of all the Enquiry Offices it was very clear that many sites were simply not viable to be kept open both from an efficiency point of view and a financial one.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and I realise it is not going to be popular in some quarters but the fact of the matter is we have to make savings and deliver services that provide value for money.
“It was a difficult choice but we had to weigh up carefully between retaining buildings or retaining officers.”
The changes will result in savings of nearly half a million pounds year on year, Derbyshire Police said.
The changes will take place between February and June 2012. New Mills enquiry office will close on Friday, February 24. No date has yet been set for the closure of the office in Chapel.
Glossop enquiry office will open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Buxton will open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Saturdays and 10am to 2pm Sundays.