This week (Monday) Northumbria Police announced to staff, along with local MPs and councillors their plans to close three police stations and radically alter the times when the public will have access to other stations in the Northumbria area.
At present eleven stations are open to the public 24 hours 7 days a week however, from 17th July this will be reduced to just one station.
Commenting on the announcement UNISON regional secretary, Clare Williams said:
“The outcome of the general election showed that the public don’t accept the government’s austerity programme along with the continued attack on public services. Northumbria Police has already lost 1,000 police staff jobs since 2010 these further cuts will have a direct impact not only on staff but also on the local communities.
The government must look again at all public sector funding and ensure essential services like this are maintained.”
UNISON regional organiser, Peter Chapman said:
“The Customer Enquiry Clerks (CEC) who work in these stations are highly trained in supporting the public and if these plans go ahead it will inevitably lead to redundancies plus a large number of staff receiving a 25% pay cut.
There may well be a need to discuss how stations provide this service in the future however UNISON believes the plans due to be implemented within the next few weeks are far too radical and the timescale far too tight – we call on the Force to abandon the current proposals and embark upon a more timely and meaningful consultation with all those involved. “