Cambridge Labour Councillors have launched a public campaign against proposals to abolish the fully staffed police station in the city centre.
Under proposals put forward by Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite, a new division base including cells would be built to the north of the city on church land. Plans are being drawn up to replace the current Parkside site with an information point, or for officers to hotdesk from a shared office but Labour Councillors across Cambridge fear this would leave Cambridge city centre without a fully staffed police station.
There is a public meeting scheduled for this Monday, 10th June, at 7.00 p.m. at Milton Primary Schools by the PCC. Labour Councillors are urging members of the public to go along and voice their objections.
Councillor Nicky Massey, Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety, has strongly criticised the proposals.
“Whoever heard of a city not having a police station, particularly one which has so many young people out at night and which welcomes visitors from all over the world?
Our city has a growing population and with that comes an increased need for services such as policing. To suggest our city’s policing needs can be met by a reduced service is clearly a cause for real concern.
This move will not only put people at risk but will also be a huge setback for officers who have been working so hard to improve community safety. We need to keep a city centre station, one that our brilliant neighbourhood police officers can walk and cycle from. This would also ensure that patrol cars would still able to reach and respond to emergency situations quickly. If they have to drive in from outside the city, that’ll become impossible.
Simply having a contact or information point just won’t cut it. People need to be able to talk to an officer in confidence, to feel safe, supported and secure.
We will be going along to the public meeting on Monday to strongly challenge the PCC’s proposals – and we urge you to join us.”
Labour Councillors unanimously agreed at a recent meeting that it was essential to protect this important community resource. They have written to both the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable calling on them to retain a smaller city centre police station where neighbourhood officers can be based, with parking for patrol cars and a desk that is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, Labour Councillors want to see part of the proceeds from the sale reinvested.
Councillor Massey doesn’t rule out continuing to support joint working between the Council’s community safety team and the police service, which has already brought some great results. However, she is clear that retaining a city centre police station should remain a priority and has vowed to keep fighting the proposed move and to ensure that Cambridge retains the services it needs.
“We don’t want an information point. We don’t want a desk in a shared office. We want to keep Cambridge safe. Our city centre needs a police station.”
To show your support please sign Labour Councillors’ petition at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/we-need-a-police-station-in-cambridge-city-centre and attend Monday’s public meeting.