Suffolk Police has moved to quash fears over policing numbers after changes following a review came into effect last week.
The Diss Express reported on Friday that Eye Police Station, based in Castleton Way, was one of 15 that was now closed to the public following the Local Policing Review, which was announced in December last year.
There are concerns that we’ll have limited personal contact with the policeEye Town Mayor Maria Ford
It has resulted in a new policing model in the county and means teams and resources have been redesigned to ensure policing can respond to demand.
Other changes include the number of Safer Neighbourhood Teams reducing from 29 to 18 — Eye’s will remain — while 59 PCSO posts will be lost, as well as 23 officer positions and 13 staff roles.
While Eye Town Mayor Maria Ford felt the closure of the public desk would have little effect, she said the council had written to Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore over concerns at the possible loss of a visible police presence in the town.
She claimed the town’s two PCSO officers were now responsible for 39 other areas, which would have a “detrimental effect” on the community.
“We do have faith in PC Wright and PCSO Long,” she told the Diss Express.
“But they can’t do the work of people who are no longer part of the set up.
“We think they do a great job.
“There are concerns that we’ll have limited personal contact with the police. Currently PCSO Abigail Durrant holds a monthly surgery at the library and also attends our monthly council meetings where residents and councillors have an opportunity to raise issues and are informed of crime and concerns in the community.
“Future attendance at council meetings will be limited and it will be far more difficult to access accurate crime data for Eye.”
But a Suffolk Police spokesperson said the police was now working in a different way not comparable to the previous model following the review.
“As a result of this, police officer attendance at local meetings has been reviewed,” the spokesperson added. “SNT officers often cover a large number of local parishes – for example one local officer could be going to 14 parish meetings a month, which would take a considerable amount of shift time.
“Where possible, we want our officers to be out in local communities and have to ensure that we are prioritising their work and making the best use of their time.
“If there is a specific local issue of concern that is being discussed at a planned meeting or a police presence is required following a major incident then we will send a representative and we will continue to maintain liaison with parish councils. Local teams are also able to provide written reports on local crime issues if required.”