Police and crime commissioner candidate Rupert Moss-Eccardt calls for Ely Police Station to revert back to full-time opening
PUBLISHED: 14:30 04 February 2020
Police and crime commissioner candidate Rupert Moss-Eccardt has called for the enquiry office at Ely Police Station to re-open on a full-time basis.
He said: "It is a long way to go to the next police at Cambridge or at March, if you are lucky to find that one open."
Mr Moss-Eccardt, the Lib Dem candidate, says the office closed last October because of sickness but re-opened on Monday afternoons in late January for a once a week surgery.
"My understanding is that the enquiry office was staffed by two people, one of them got moved elsewhere within the force.
"And the other person unfortunately became ill and is still off sick.
"As PCC I'll at the very minimum find out what they tried to do to fill the slot - it ought to be possible to squeeze funds to keep the office open at usual hours."
Mr Moss-Eccardt believes that if the intention was to close it permanently - or to only open one afternoon a week - it should have made a policy issue and debated locally.
"There is of course a yellow - phone outside but that's not quite good enough," he said. People need to use their local police station to report crime and pass on information.
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"There is also the challenge of being stopped by police and required to produce your papers - you go to Ely and find there is no one in the inquiry office to check them.
"If you didn't know it was closed and had gone there to produce documents and fail to do so because its close you could accidentally create criminals just because of a bit of staffing," said Mr Moss Eccardt.
He accepted there was a move nationally to use other channels to communicate with police "but that does not substitute when you need to present papers or want a face to face interview".
Mr Moss-Eccardt said decisions on whether to close local enquiry offices should be in police and crime panel annual report.
He wondered if Cambridgeshire police "have simply lost the lost the enthusiasm to keep it open
" Obviously people off sick is more difficult but you'd think there would be resilience in the force to cope with staff illness".
Cambridgeshire police said the public are invited to go along and discuss any policing issues that may be affecting them as an individual or as a community.
Officers are still working from the station and appointments are being taken.
Sergeant Mark Rabel said: "We want to offer our communities an opportunity to come and speak to us, face-to-face on a regular basis".