Todd Foreman, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset, responds to the announcement by Avon and Somerset police that half of their traditional police stations will be closing over the next five years.
“Our police forces are under immense pressure as a result of huge budget cuts imposed by this Government. Whilst it may seem sensible to reduce the number of buildings that are being occupied by the Avon and Somerset force, and it is to their credit that they are looking to save money through asset sharing, I do have concerns about the impact some of the changes may have – both on residents but also the police themselves.
“There is a danger in attempting to manage policing from distant, centralised police hubs. How much police time will now be spent driving those in custody between the new custodial suites in Keynsham and the administrative centre in Bath? In addition, with Radstock police station scheduled to close but with uncertainty about when, residents will be rightly worried about whether they might be without a station at all.
“There have been hard won gains in the reduction of crime over the past 30 years by successive governments and it is a credit to our police forces that this trend, in many areas, continues. I believe one key component of that success is well resourced and community focused policing and my fear is that it’s now in jeopardy due to the scale of this Government’s cuts.”