Rupert Matthews signs decision record
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has put pen to paper on a deal to secure the reopening of a police front enquiry desk in Rutland.
Honouring his Police and Crime Plan pledge to strengthen rural policing, Mr Matthews has given his full backing to proposals to convert part of Oakham Police Station into a new front enquiry office to make it easier for the public to contact police.
The project, which has been formally agreed by Chief Constable Rob Nixon and Mr Matthews, will involve minor alteration works to the existing station at a cost of approximately £60k - £56k of which is expected to be funded by unallocated monies being held on behalf of the force by Rutland County Council.
There has been no front enquiry desk in Rutland since the council’s contact centre based at its Catmose offices in Oakham closed. Previously, the force operated a front enquiry desk at the centre until the Covid-crisis forced the centre to close.
Mr Matthews is determined to deliver a consistent level of policing service across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland’s communities and increase help and support for urban and rural residents.
The project represents the best value option for the force and will not require ongoing revenue charges.
Mr Matthews explained: “This deal is fantastic news for the local community and will see the long-awaited return of a police front enquiry desk to Rutland.
“It has not been a difficult decision to make. Quite simply, altering our existing police station in Oakham is by far the cheapest solution and will enable the local community to access the new resource far quicker due to the project remaining completely within the force’s control.
“Additionally, the location of a desk within the police station will ensure staff can be used more flexibly and efficiently and will be much easier for the public to find. It also gives us more certainty for the future as other venues would require a time limited lease or licence.
“I would like to thank the Chief Constable and his hard-working team for the efforts they have invested in finding an alternative location for this valuable facility.
“Everyone living and working in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland deserves to feel safe and protected. I know how important it is our rural communities and market towns feel adequately supported and this project is one of many designed to provide local people with a stronger and more accessible service. Nobody should live so far from a police front desk that they cannot realistically visit it.”
The new facility is expected to be completed in December or early January.
Mr Matthews has always pledged to do more to protect market towns and rural communities from the threat of crime. His Police and Crime Plan led to the introduction of the dedicated rural crime teams in each of the Neighbourhood Policing Areas (outside of the City). He has also, as pledged in his Police and Crime Plan, worked with the Chief Constable to establish a team of Special Constables focused on tackling rural crime.
Posted on Friday 2nd September 2022