POLICE enquiry offices in Chapel-en-le-Frith and New Mills are to be closed as part of cost-cutting plans.
The changes, announced by Derbyshire Constabulary last week, will see both the Chapel and New Mills offices closed while opening hours will be changed at other enquiry offices in the county.
The force said the move was necessary because reductions in police budgets, which were announced in October 2010, meant they were left a deficit of £13 million by the end of 2012/13 – predicted to rise to a total of £24 million 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 programme, a review of the enquiry office service was launched 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.
“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, which will take place between February and June 2012, will result in savings of nearly half a million pounds year on year.
New Mills enquiry office, on Hurst Lea Road, will close on Friday, February 24. No date has yet been set for the closure of the Chapel office on Manchester Road. The enquiry office in Buxton will be open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm on Saturday and 10am to 2pm on Sunday.